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04/24/2020

Today's COVID-19 Report: Friday, April 24, 2020

Friday, April 24, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Friday, April 24 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Model for Collaboration

On the LeadingAge Ohio weekly all-member webinar yesterday, LeadingAge Ohio members had the opportunity to learn from the case study of a hospital/post-acute/local health department collaboration that the DeWine Administration is touting as best practice in COVID-19 collaboration. Dr. Sean Cannone (University Hospitals, Medical Director, Post-Acute) gave an overview of a “playbook” that University Hospitals has developed to assist its post-acute care partners and local health departments in responding to outbreaks, which has been used as a model for Ohio hospitals by DeWine Administration officials.

On the call, Dr. Cannone shared examples of three different nursing homes that his team had supported through outbreaks, noting that with each nursing home’s experience they had learned something new. Joshua Wallace, LNHA, VP of Growth Strategies, Ohman Family Living at Briar, a continuing care retirement community in Geauga County, offered his facility’s perspective on the collaboration. His facility went through the planning process with the hospital in advance of an outbreak that occurred on the campus. As a result, his staff knew what to expect and how they would respond each step of the way, including when they completed a methodical direct-to-ICU transfer for a patient whose symptoms were escalating, completely bypassing the emergency department.

The recording of yesterday's all-member call is available for all members. Dr. Cannone’s playbook is available, with links embedded, so that members can easily access and customize. The webinar included a poll of those participating, asking how many had reached out to local hospital(s) to begin collaboration discussion:  just one-third indicated they had attempted to connect. Dr. John Weigand, physician with Central Ohio Geriatrics and one of the state’s Zone One leaders, closed the call by urging all members of the continuum to reach out to their local hospitals to begin similar playbook development. LeadingAge Ohio encourages members to access the webinar recording in order to inform their efforts in building their own hospital partnerships and plans for an eventual outbreak.

MHAS Announces COVID CareLine

April is Stress Awareness Month, and many healthcare workers and older adults may be under increased stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS) has announced the launch of a new mental health "COVID CareLine" for Ohioans. Trained staff are available at a toll-free number (1-800-720-9616) to provide emotional assistance to anyone struggling with mental health concerns due to the ongoing stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff, residents/patients, and their families may find this resource helpful.

MHAS also released a list of coronavirus-related stress management tips.

HOME Choice Continues Work During Pandemic

Ohio’s HOME Choice program continues to conduct transitions during this time of lockdown and social distancing. 

Thirty-five individuals have been transitioned to community settings in the last five weeks. Prior to the move, each of these transitions were evaluated on a case-by-case basis and approved for moving forward after an individualized health, safety and community sustainability plan was established. It is important that the HOME Choice Transition Coordinators work with individuals and nursing facility staff to develop new and inventive ways of providing socially distant moving and community linkage support

Facilities with questions are encouraged to reach out to Carol Schenck, MFP Program Director – HOME Choice, at 614-387-7755 or Carol.schenck@medicaid.ohio.gov.

PPE Needs Continue, LeadingAgeOhioShop.com has New Items

In communication with Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran this week, she shared that the state is starting to see some progress in statewide PPE procurement efforts. Director Corcoran stressed the importance of providers communicating their PPE needs on the daily survey and staying in constant communication with their local Emergency Management Agency (EMA), which can help providers get access to emergency PPE supplies.

LeadingAgeOhioShop.com is switching gears to leverage their large supplier network and provide access to PPE to LeadingAge Ohio members during these unprecedented times. LeadingAgeOhioShop.com now has PPE items available including: KHA 3 ply surgical grade masks; KN95 masks, gloves, and protective counter barriers; and more.

New PPE items are added almost daily in response to member feedback, so please reach out to Adam Biats by email at service@leadingageohioshop.com for any questions or item requests. All purchases through LeadingAgeOhioShop.com help to support the LeadingAge Ohio Foundation.

U.S. House Passes Next Relief Package  

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the next relief package - a $484 billion package to deliver emergency aid to small businesses and hospitals. 

Approved by a vote of 388-5, the bill includes $384 billion more for the Paycheck Protection Program (small business loans), $75 billion in emergency relief for hospitals, and $20 billion to ramp up testing. LeadingAge believes that, like earlier relief packages, the money will be distributed to more than hospitals. 

LeadingAge Talks HUD with Vice President Pence, Secretary Carson

LeadingAge was able to raise the issue of HUD-assisted older adults impacted by the coronavirus on a HUD call that featured updates from White House Coronavirus Task Force leader Vice President Mike Pence, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and FHA Commissioner / Assistant Secretary for Housing Brian Montgomery. LeadingAge provided an article to summarize LeadingAge’s question and the response provided, as the Q&A sheds some welcome insight into the importance of senior issues in the eyes of HUD.

When asked what efforts HUD is explicitly focusing on for its assistance to seniors, Secretary Carson stated in his reply: “I hope one of the things we take away from this pandemic are better measures for taking care of our elderly people on a permanent basis."

LeadingAge will share the recording of the call when it is available. 

Ohio Statistics: 14,694 Cases, 618 Deaths

As of yesterday, there were 14,694 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 618 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 2,960 people have been hospitalized, including 900 admissions to intensive care units. 

In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

COVID-19 Dashboard:  Long-term Care Facilities Data Accuracy

The count of both residents and staff with positive or probable COVID-19 in long-term care facilities was re-posted to Ohio’s dashboard on Wednesday. In order to inform our communications with the Administration, we would like to have a sense of the accuracy of the data presented.  Please review the listing and contact Susan Wallace (swallace@leadingageohio.org) to report both accuracy or error. 

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.