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05/08/2020

Today's COVID-19 Report: Friday, May 8, 2020

Friday, May 8, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Friday, May 8 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Message on our Continued Mission from Kathryn Brod

The following is a message from our President/CEO Kathryn Brod:

Kathryn Brod"The media far too often paint the services provided to older Ohioans with horrific hues; this week’s headlines here in Columbus are a case in point.  We will remain relentless in our efforts to blunt this impact and tell the true stories of heroism, bravery, and quality care that is ongoing in your organizations.

Your work – your teams, your staff – gives us the stories through which we can push back and help create a fresh canvas from which to paint a different picture.  Thanks to your work, our association vision has been fueled through COVID-19 to lead in quality, innovation, and value.

As the situation continues to progress with the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be reducing our COVID-19 Daily Report to three times per week. Any breaking alerts relevant to our membership will supersede this new protocol and be shared. 

Know that we are committed to conveying information as expeditiously as possible. Please continue to send your questions, your concerns and your stories. All help strengthen our work.

OUR MISSION:
Advancing solutions for exceptional care and successful living.

OUR VISION:
The leader in quality, innovation, and value."

Mother's Day Clarification: No Outdoor Visitation

This week, as spring weather improves, Ohio began to open up parts of its economy. Mother’s Day is upon us, and many families are looking forward to being able to visit with their loved ones in the near future. Some may be considering whether there is flexibility in the Governor’s order to see their loved one out-of-doors over the holiday weekend.

The Governor’s order to restrict visitation in long-term care facilities remains in effect. This includes outdoor visitation. We encourage all members to find creative ways to celebrate and communicate these with residents, families, and staff. 

This can include helping residents connect with the use of video chat technology, delivering flowers and other gifts, arranging window visits if possible/appropriate, and planning activities for residents.

Any questions related to this may be directed to Kathryn Brod at kbrod@leadingageohio.org.

LeadingAge Ohio Voices Accuracy Concerns on ODH Case Reporting

Yesterday, LeadingAge Ohio discussed accuracy concerns regarding the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) long-term care case dashboard, as well continuing concerns about PPE and testing, in a Gongwer News article titled Coronavirus Deaths, Cases In Long-Term Care Continue To Rise.

Gongwer reports on Statehouse-specific news items and is widely read by the Ohio General Assembly and Administration. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Accuracy concerns remain, said Patrick Schwartz, spokesman for LeadingAge Ohio.

"The data can have an immediate impact on reputation – family members are using it to make determinations about their loved ones," he said in an email. "Providers are required to notify all residents and families when cases are confirmed or probable, so if a case is reported incorrectly, it can severely undermine the family's confidence in the facility."

"Providers are simply asking for consistency and reliability," he added.

Testing is showing that about 30% of patients shown to be positive for COVID-19 are asymptomatic, with that figure being higher among younger and healthier people, Mr. Schwartz said.

"While numbers will assuredly increase, opportunities to test more residents and staff are being welcomed by our members. They need this information to keep residents and staff safe," he said.

Medicaid Provider Contact Update Needed for Overpayment Reports

As reported in Wednesday's Daily Report, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) is collecting current email addresses prior to emailing the FYs 2017 & 2018 overpayment reports. ODM has asked providers to send two valid email addresses to LTCAudits@medicaid.ohio.gov and stated that the email should include the Ohio Medicaid seven-digit number in the subject line.

ODM wanted to remind providers that those responsible for multiple locations should include all Ohio Medicaid providers numbers in their correspondence to ODM. If the list is long, it does not all need to be contained in the subject line. 

Action Alert: Affordable Senior Housing COVID-19 Relief

Congress is working on its next set of COVID-19 relief bills for aging services providers. Affordable Senior Housing communities have been hard hit by coronavirus and LeadingAge is asking for our members help in asking Congress to provide needed funds and resources for providers of affordable housing.

Please consider taking two minutes to send a quick message through the easy-to-use Action Alert center. 

New Openings Announced: Restaurants, Bars, Personal Services

Governor DeWine announced yesterday that restaurants and bars in Ohio will be permitted to reopen. Outdoor dining may resume May 15 and dine-in services may resume May 21. Attached are detailed lists of guidelines and best practices.

Governor DeWine also announced that personal services such as hair salons, barbershops, day spas, nail salons, and tanning facilities may reopen on May 15. Please note that this is not inclusive of personal care services delivered in long-term care settings. 

LeadingAge Ohio has requested that the Administration clarify the impact of opening orders on long-term care and will continue these efforts.

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.