NHSN Data Collection Update & Need to Verify Data Submission This Week
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) announced updates to the NHSN LTCF COVID-19 Module Resident Impact and Facility Capacity pathway. Specifically, new testing questions will be added regarding facility access and capacity for COVID-19 viral testing of residents and facility personnel. The previous questions Does your facility have access to COVID-19 testing while the resident is in the facility? and If YES, what laboratory type? will be removed after August 9, 2020.
This morning, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) shared they are working to align the data reporting elements in EMResource to that of the updated NHSN questions. Although this work is expected to be completed this week, MDHHS is recommending that all facilities log into NHSN this week to verify their data submissions and correct as needed.
The updated data collection form, form instructions, and CSV templates are available on the LTCF COVID-19 Module web-page.
Governor Whitmer Vetoes Immunity Bill - Negotiations Ongoing
Governor Whitmer today vetoed Senate Bill 899, which would have given limited civil immunity to health care facilities and providers, including nursing facilities and homes for the aged and their employees. The immunity would have applied to the services rendered as part of the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic from March 10, 2020 until January 1, 2021. Similar to the Governor's executive orders 2020-30 and 2020-61, the bill would not have granted immunity for actions arising to gross negligence or willful misconduct.
Though Governor Whitmer has vetoed this bill, negotiations between the legislature and administration are ongoing on the issue of immunity for health care providers. HCAM will continue its advocacy efforts with policy makers to achieve immunity for facilities and their employees during this unprecedented crisis.
You can find SB 899 by clicking HERE.
All Member Call with Mark Parkinson: HHS Provider Relief Funds
Please join AHCA/NCAL for an all member call with President & CEO Mark Parkinson and the team this Thursday, August 13 at 3 PM Eastern to provide details on upcoming COVID-relief distributions to skilled nursing facilities from the Provider Relief Fund.
This call is for AHCA/NCAL members only, and attendees are required to pre-register HERE.
Members can log in using their existing AHCA/NCAL username and password. You will be able to register once you are logged in to the website. Please email email@example.com for additional assistance.
QIES/iQIES Help Desk Update
Beginning Monday, August 17th, the QIES/iQIES Level 1 Help Desk Support will now be handled by a new Help Desk team who will work diligently to resolve all QIES/iQIES-related inquiries. The current Help Desk team will still be actively available to assist with escalated Level 2 Support. For questions or concerns, please call 1-800-339-9313 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shout-out from POTUS
This weekend, AHCA/NCAL President & CEO Mark Parkinson shared a memo regarding a press conference held by President Donald Trump. Parkinson's memo included:
Friday evening President Trump held a press conference and made some supportive comments about our sector. This is very welcomed and appreciated and I wanted you to know about it. An excerpt of his comments is listed below.
The transcription of his full comments are here.
"That's an incredible number when you hear half of the deaths have been in nursing homes and long term care facilities. And I will tell you that I met with owners and representatives of nursing homes and they are very, very vigilant. They're doing a very good job now. They've really done something that I think is special. They're doing very well in terms of the virus. They're working very hard and a lot of things happened. A lot of forces came together and hit the nursing homes very hard, but the representatives of nursing homes, in some cases the ownership of nursing homes they're working very hard."
Our collective efforts are making an impact and I wanted you to be aware of these comments from the President of the United States.
AHCA/NCAL Announces 2020 National Quality Award Recipients
This year, 861 long term and post-acute care providers in all 50 states and District of Columbia have received an AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award. This program honors long term and post-acute care providers that have demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the quality of care for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Implemented by AHCA/NCAL in 1996, the National Quality Award Program is centered on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework, which is also the basis of the metric-based AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative. The Baldrige framework helps organizations across different business sectors use strategies to improve performance and organizational effectiveness. The program has three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
Among the 861 recipients, 711 received the Bronze - Commitment to Quality award. At the Bronze level, providers assess their organization's mission, vision, and key factors that lead to success. They also develop an organizational profile and must demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system. Michigan recipients of the Bronze Quality Award include:
- Advantage Living Center Armada
- Beaumont Rehabilitation & Continuing Care, Dearborn
- Clinton-Aire Healthcare Center
- Durand Senior Care & Rehab Center
- Faith Haven Senior Care Centre
- HealthBridge Post-Acute Rehabilitation
- Heartland Health Care Center-Canton
- Heartland Health Care Center-Hampton
- Island City Assisted Living
- MediLodge of Monroe
- MediLodge of Plymouth
- Rivergate Health Care Center
- West Woods of Niles
146 recipients have achieved the second step in the Quality Award Program, Silver - Achievement in Quality. These recipients have developed effective approaches to help improve performance and health care outcomes. Our Michigan recipients of the Silver Quality Award include:
- Four Chaplains Nursing Care Center
- LakePointe Senior Care and Rehab Center
- Metron of Forest Hills
- Sunrise at North Farmington Hills
- Sunrise of Bloomfield
- Sunrise of Rochester
- Sunrise of Shelby Township
- Sunrise on Vernier
Four recipients nationwide have achieved the third level in the Quality Award Program, Gold - Excellence in Quality. Gold Award recipients demonstrate overall performance, resulting from sustainable, systematic, effective processes. They are among the best in the post-acute care profession and overall, the applicant can serve as a role model for the industry.
A full list of the recipients is available on the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award website here.
Updated CSTE COVID-19 Case Definition
The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) recently updated standardized COVID-19 case definitions. This updated definition supersedes the prior version released in April 2020.
A brief summary of key changes is included below:
- Added the following to "at least two" symptoms: nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and congestion or runny nose.
- Moved the following from "at least two" symptoms to "any one" symptom: new olfactory disorder, new taste disorder.
- Confirmatory Lab Evidence remains detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in a clinical specimen using a molecular amplification test.
- Presumptive Lab Evidence is now detection of SARS-CoV-2 by antigen test; specimen type is limited to respiratory specimens.
NOTE: Antibody tests are no longer considered Presumptive Lab Evidence.
- Supportive Lab Evidence (new) includes detection of specific antibody in serum, plasma, or whole blood
- In addition to above, autopsy specimens are appropriate specimens for
molecular amplification detection tests (confirmatory)
specific antigen detection by immunocy to chemistry (supportive)
- Close Contact has been adjusted to include contact of 15 minutes or more cumulative, and not required to be consecutive.
- A positive antigen test from a respiratory specimen counts as a probably case, regardless of symptoms or contact tracing.
- COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 must be an documented as an underlying cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death on a death certificate to be considered for case classification.
Governor Whitmer Extends Declaration of Emergency
On Friday August 7 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-165, extending the governor's emergency and disaster declaration until September 4, 2020 at 11:59pm.
This extension ensures state emergency operations can continue to address COVIDS-19 needs across the state including COVID testing, tracing of infections, and directing additional resources to hot-spots as they emerge.
For questions or concerns please contact Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
Aug. 10, 2020