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04/14/2020

Today's COVID-19 Report:Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Tuesday, April 14 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

LeadingAge Ohio Questions Administration on Reporting Order

As reported in yesterday's daily report, Governor DeWine and Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton issued an order yesterday requiring all Ohio nursing homes to report confirmed/suspected cases of COVID-19 to all residents and family members within 24 hours. We heard from our membership loud and clear on this issue, and sent prompt communication directly to contacts within the Administration. 

The communication began:

LeadingAge Ohio supports thoughtful data transparency, paired with increased testing and adequate supplies of PPE, among all healthcare providers (nursing homes, assisted living, and acute care) to heighten the safety of residents, patients and healthcare workers in all settings. We share the same priority with the Administration – the safety of residents and staff, and providing timely communication with family members.

Issues sent to the Administration included:

  • Discussing tendency of families to shift residents when a presumed or confirmed case is present, which spreads the infection and causes confusion.
  • Asking if the transparency of information can apply across all care settings so that families can know before interacting with any settings and organizations can know if staff may have been exposed. 
  • Confirming whether or not providers should share only confirmed positive or also presumed positive cases.
  • Discussing the vast shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing among long-term care organizations, and describing its effect on the organizations. 
  • Asking why prisons have taken priority in terms of testing availability. 
  • Reinforcing that nursing homes are trained to follow state and federal guidelines on infection control, and are more equipped to handle infection than a family member at home.
  • And many more.

We will continue to update members on this important issue and members are encouraged to review LeadingAge coronavirus communication tools, which include communication with residents and families after confirmation of a positive case. Talking points on this subject and more are forthcoming.

ODM Releases Telehealth Billing Information

Yesterday, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) notified providers of updates to telehealth policies in a document summarizing the changes, including billing information. The guidance reflects the changes shared by the Administration last week, and covered in a previous LeadingAge Ohio Daily Report. Providers with questions have been directed to submit an email inquiry at Medicaid@medicaid.ohio.gov.

CMS Provides Discharge Guidance/Graphic

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided supplemental information for transferring or discharging residents between skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and/or nursing facilities based on COVID-19 status (i.e., positive, negative, unknown/under observation).

In general, if two or more certified long-term care facilities want to transfer or discharge residents between themselves for the purposes of cohorting, they do not need any additional approval to do so. However, if a certified long-term care facility would like to transfer or discharge residents to a non-certified location for the purposes of cohorting, they need approval from the State Survey Agency.

CMS has provided a copy of the guidance and a graphic explaining the various scenarios.

HUD Explains Recertifications

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight has issued a memo explaining an alternative protocol to handle the processing of annual and interim recertifications as needed during the COVID-19 emergency. This information is also provided in HUD’s Q&A on the HUD multifamily webpage. 

All-member Call - Thursday, April 16, 10:30 a.m.

LeadingAge Ohio is holding an all-member COVID-19 update call on Thursday, April 16 at 10:30 a.m. 

Call in registration is as follows:

For best call quality, we encourage using your computer audio. This also allows callers to easily send questions to the speakers via the 'chat' function. Questions can also be sent to the COVID19@leadingageohio.org email address.

For best call quality, we encourage using your computer audio.

Dial in information:

Or iPhone one-tap :

US: +13126266799,,97825504200#

Or Telephone:

US: +1 312 626 6799 

Webinar ID: 978 2550 4200

Questions

Please send all questions to COVID19@leadingageohio.org. Additionally, members are encouraged to visit the LeadingAge Ohio COVID-19 Working Group facebook group to pose questions to peers and share best practices.

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Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.