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05/13/2020

Today's COVID-19 Report: Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Wednesday, May 13 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

All-member Call - Friday, May 15

LeadingAge Ohio is holding an all-member COVID-19 update call on Friday, May 15 at 10:30 a.m. Topics will include ongoing data reporting challenges of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) long-term care reporting website, re-opening procedures, and other hot topics, such as implications of the re-opening on HR (e.g. quarantine implications of employee travel), beauty salons, etc. 

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.

Please click the following link to join the webinar on your computer: https://easyconnecthd.zoom.us/j/97737674189

Or iPhone one-tap :

US: +13126266799,,97737674189# 

Or Telephone:

US: +1 312 626 6799  

Webinar ID: 977 3767 4189

LeadingAge Ohio Responds to DeWine Press Conference

Yesterday's COVID-19 press conference by the DeWine administration featured a long-term care focus and included Director of Medicaid Maureen Corcoran and Director of Aging Ursel McElroy. 

Officials stated said they are working to address the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes and other congregate care settings. The leaders also discussed expanded testing priorities in long-term care facilities, including the LeadingAge Ohio member-led Post-Acute Regional Rapid Testing (PARRT) initiative. 

"This is going to be an area where we're going to be paying particular attention probably through the time that we have a vaccine.This is not a sprint. This is a marathon and we're providing structures and scaffolding to provide clinical support for the staff in these environments," stated Director Corcoran. 

LeadingAge Ohio provided a response statement, noting:

“Nursing homes have been eager to partner with area hospitals per the Governor’s direction to do so, but as of now, the linkages between hospitals and congregate settings—which include nursing homes but also assisted living and senior housing—are still emerging. Our members continue to face challenges across the state to get access to the testing necessary to identify asymptomatic employees and residents. As the state reopens, this becomes even more important.”

The full statement was published in Hannah News and an excerpt published in Gongwertwo Statehouse-focused news outlets. 

HEROES Act Relief Bill

Congressional House Democrats released their draft $3 trillion relief package yesterday afternoon. 

The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act proposal includes many of the LeadingAge requests or elements that address the asks in part. LeadingAge provided an article on the housing highlights. 

For HUD, the bill includes $500 million for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program and $750 million for Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance. Of the Section 202 resources, $300 million is to expand the number of Service Coordinators, a key LeadingAge ask. The remaining $200 million in the bill for the Section 202 account is for COVID-related expenses. Within HUD’s Section 8 PBRA program, 45% of PBRA units either directly subsidize Section 202 communities or provide the operating subsidy for elderly-only Section 8 communities. Thus, the $750 million for PBRA in the bill will help senior housing communities respond to COVID-related needs. Senate and House bills that reflect LeadingAge’s $1.2 billion affordable senior housing asks for the next relief package are expected to be introduced in the coming days.

Here are some health highlights:

  • Two major LeadingAge Medicaid asks are included: FMAP is increased by a total of 14% from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023, giving states additional funds to help recover. MFAR, the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation that LeadingAge lobbied vigorously to rescind cannot be finalized until the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • The health care provider relief fund is increased by $175 billion, with $100 billion for providers and $75 billion for testing, contact tracing, vaccines and other items.
  • For aging services employers who want to provide some extra pay to their essential staff, the Heroes Fund that was developed in the Senate is included.

There are a number of provisions addressing nursing homes. The only new reporting requirement is to report age, race/ethnicity and preferred language of residents with COVID 19 or symptoms and all residents who have died, an effort to understand the impact on minority communities. LeadingAge asked for funds to help nursing homes develop extended care centers and the bill contains incentive payments for SNFs that want to develop a COVID-only treatment center. The bill contains funds contains funds for state strike force teams to provide assistance to nursing homes with COVID cases, and a provision for the QIOs to provide assistance with infection control.

LeadingAge will continue to report on this legislation as it progresses. 

Ohio Statistics: 25,721 Cases, 1,483 Deaths

There are 25,721 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 1,483 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 4,618 people have been hospitalized, including 1,248 admissions to intensive care units. 

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

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.