ECHO Program Webinars Start Today
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is supporting the national ECHO program and IHI to start a series of webinars on best practices to prevent the spread of COVID. These sessions will have large amount of time devoted to hearing from participants and answering questions. They will then shift into regional small groups of nursing homes to participate in weekly action learning networks.
Assisted Living providers may find these webinars contain useful information as well and are encouraged to register if interested.
Learn more about this opportunity and register for the three initial sessions here.
Tuesday, August 25
1:30 PM Eastern
Optimizing Clinical Care in the Time of COVID in Skilled Nursing Home Facilities
Wednesday, August 26
1:30 PM Eastern
The Latest News on Testing, Cohorting, and Critical Infection Prevention Strategies
Wednesday, September 2
1:30 PM Eastern
Telemedicine in the Time of COVID
FY 2020-2021 State Budget Update - No Cuts Planned for Nursing Facilities
Despite the state's current budget challenges, House Leadership has notified HCAM that they do not intend to cut Medicaid for nursing facility providers at this time.
The profession was faced with the prospect of a cut after the state projected a significant budget shortfall for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The legislature and administration held a consensus revenue estimating conference yesterday that projects a much smaller deficit than originally anticipated. The state is now projected to face a $926 million shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year--down significantly from the $3 billion shortfall projected at the May revenue estimating conference.
HCAM advocated strongly against a cut to the profession, particularly in the midst of a pandemic. This resulted in a communication yesterday from the Speaker's office that the House does not intend to cut nursing facilities to address the budget deficit.
In addition, Governor Whitmer had also proposed an $85 million cut to nursing facilities in her 2020-2021 FY state budget proposal issued in February. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services appropriations chairs have told HCAM that they would be rejecting the Governor's proposed cut.
We will provide updates as the 2020-2021 FY budget negotiations continue.
CMS Announces 2nd Wave of COVID Testing Unit Distribution
Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans for a second wave of COVID testing unit distribution. This second round is expected to include upwards of 11,000 nursing facilities nationwide and is prioritized by whether facilities are located in coronavirus hotspot areas, COVID-19 incidence rate, if they have inadequate access to testing, and by case and death totals.
The announcement comes on the heels of the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) release of updated guidance for the use of antigen testing. The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) is currently working internally to review and revise their guidance and perspectives of antigen testing and is expected to release an update in the near future.
AHCA/NCAL has developed a Fact Sheet that providers may find helpful as they review the capabilities, use, and requirements for antigen testing.
AHCA/NCAL Launches New Website
AHCA/NCAL is excited to announce they have redesigned the AHCA/NCAL website! In order to provide a better user experience, the look and layout have a more modern feel, and their vast amount of resources and information have been streamlined to make content easier to find.
The new website is optimized to perform and look better on mobile phones and tablets. Other features have been added, like the new blog with the latest updates from staff, and easy-to-use filters in the search engine to help you find what you're looking for quicker.
Take some time to navigate the new site. AHCA/NCAL welcomes your feedback and kindly requests you take the survey that appears on the homepage. This will ensure the website is meeting member needs.
For questions or concerns please contact Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
Aug. 25, 2020