LARA Shares Updated Interpretation of Guidance On Outside AppointmentsYesterday August 20 2020, Michelle Roepke, Director Federal Certification Division shared with the Association a question and answer from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Region V team regarding residents leaving for dialysis or outside appointments. Based on this Q&A, any resident leaving the facility would be required to undergo quarantine and monitoring for 14 days. HCAM is actively working to further clarify the guidance for residents leaving facilities as this Q&A is not consistent with prior interpretation. Question: Can residents leave the nursing home for an appointment or outside activity?Answer: If attending the appointment is necessary, the facility should help arrange for the resident to attend the appointment by taking precautions to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 (e.g., giving the resident a surgical mask to wear while attending the appointment). Also, the facility should monitor the resident upon return for fever and signs and symptoms of respiratory infection for 14 days after the outside appointment (preferably in a space dedicated for observation of asymptomatic residents)Follow-up Question: Should these residents also be placed in precautions? Meaning, should staff be wearing full PPE when caring for these residents?Answer: Due to the possible exposure, just like for newly admitted residents who were hospitalized for non-COVID-related illness whose COVID-19 status is not known (e.g., not tested), CDC recommends placing them on Transmission-Based Precautions in a separate observation area or in a single room until 14 days have elapsed. The resident may have or may have not contracted the virus but granting the resident did, not wearing the appropriate PPE will put the staff and other residents at risk. The facility staff and management should realize that a lot of the COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic and they are the more dangerous ones. Updated Survey RegionsToday, the Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs (LARA) released updates regarding Federal Certification Survey Regions and Survey Managers. Washtenaw County facilities have been moved to the Lansing South team, managed by Cynthia Thelen. In addition, David Donahue has been assigned as the Survey Manager for the Detroit Central region, comprised of facilities in Oakland County. Mr. Donahue will be working out of the Lansing office and can be reached at 517-648-9482.Michigan Unemployment Benefits Increase by $300 Per WeekOn Friday, August 21, FEMA approved the expansion of the unemployment benefit by $300 per week for Michigan claimants. This enhancement will take effect retroactive to August 1.Governor Gretchen Whitmer made the request last week to FEMA to provide funding to give those eligible for unemployment in the state of Michigan an additional $300 per week. The Whitmer administration sought this supplemental funding because Congress has yet to come to an agreement to continue the $600 enhancement that expired at the end of July.Michigan Safe Start Map UpdatedToday, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) updated the MI Safe Start Map, moving eastern Michigan comprised of the Detroit and Saginaw Regions to High Risk. This move is made after an increase in case levels above 40 per million and COVID testing positivity percentage rates at 4 percent or higher. For questions or concerns please contact Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
For questions or concerns please contact Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
Aug. 21, 2020