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02/17/2021

Today's COVID-19 Report: Thursday, February 18

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Thursday, February 18 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and other topics of importance.


A REMINDER TO ALL MEMBERS

Check LeadingAge's FAQs and Resources on COVID-19 Vaccines and Issues Surrounding Vaccinations frequently. The most recent update includes Q&A on implications of mandating the vaccine for staff.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has released a preliminary toolkit that has been developed with talking points, language tips, social media language, and trusted resources to help providers better communicate information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. 

In Today's Report

  • Vaccine maintenance program announced: Action needed to participate
  • ODM: e-Device CMP communication
  • ODM: Update on visitation grants
  • CAPC recruiting LTC nurses
  • CDC guidance for vaccinating homebound persons
  • Home health claims processing issues
  • Advocacy in Action member call: Monday, February 22
  • Next week’s LeadingAge Ohio all-member call to focus on NF budget issues
  • 2021 LeadingAge Ohio Compensation Survey: Request to participate
  • COVID-19: A Year Later regulatory compliance webinar
  • Analyzing the OCR HIPAA settlement of 2020 - Tips, pitfalls and what to avoid webinar
  • Annual State of Seniors Housing survey
  • LeadingAge Need to Know

Vaccine maintenance program announced: Action needed to participate

Today the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) provided a webinar to inform Ohio’s nursing homes and assisted living providers on how to access vaccines for new residents, new staff and any who may have opted out of the clinics held through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership program (PPP). As the PPP is ending, today’s webinar offers long awaited information on how to address the ongoing need for access to vaccines. There are two programs rolling out simultaneously: a federal program (coordinated through Managed Health Care Associates) and a state program (managed by ODA). 

The federal CDC program is not yet officially launched; this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) program will work with a select group of LTC pharmacies who will then develop demand plans with individual facilities in order to deliver and administer the vaccines. The MHA pharmacies as of today include:  Absolute; Clark’s Rx; Complete Pharmacy Solutions; DeCaria Brothers; Franklin Pharmacy; Genoa healthcare; Guardian Pharmacy; ICP; K-C Institutional Pharmacy; Lifeline Institutional Pharmacy; PCA Corrections; Pharmacy Specialty Group; PharmScript; RX Institutional Services; Senior Pharmacy Services; SkilledCare Pharmacy; Specialty Rx; and Symbria Rx Srvs-Great Lakes East.

Alternatively, the State of Ohio is launching a program that offers a facility to choose one of three options for meeting the ongoing need for vaccines. The three plans reflect various degrees to which a facility is involved in the multi-step vaccine process, from storing through reporting. ALL three plans require facilities to complete an online survey with ODA to note a facility’s plan preference. At a very high level, the three options are as follows:

  1. Plan 1: Pharmacy handles all aspects of the vaccination process (much like the PPP); the pharmacy stores, administers, and reports.
  2. Plan 2: Pharmacy subcontracts with the facility to administer the vaccine.
  3. Plan 3: The facility enrolls as a vaccine provider (an additional webinar on the responsibilities related to this role will be held next week).  Facilities that choose to become vaccine providers will be phased into the vaccine distribution process, i.e.

With vaccine supply still limited, the state pharmacy board is prioritizing vaccine distribution based on a pharmacy provider’s ability to have the process routinized and the pharmacy provider’s ability to maximize the number of vaccines given (“through put”), arrange storage capacity, and effectively and efficiently report. The vaccine distribution will begin on a rolling basis on February 22.

As of the timing of this COVID-19 report, this morning’s webinar has not yet been posted. However, the survey is now open and closes at 11:59PM on February 23

LeadingAge Ohio will continue to monitor the posting of information from the webinar and convey links to access the information when available.

For questions about Ohio's COVID-19 testing and and vaccine programs for long-term care facilities, contact COVIDTesting@age.ohio.gov. For COVID-19 vaccine provider questions, contact COVIDVaccine@odh.ohio.gov.

ODM e-Device CMP communication

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) has prepared the attached communication for the e-Device CMP project advising nursing facilities of the cutoff dates for the submission of applications and the submission of receipts for this project, and has asked LeadingAge Ohio to distribute it to member facilities.

If you have any questions after reviewing the communication, please do not hesitate to contact Amy Hogan at amy.hogan@medicaid.ohio.gov.

ODM: Update on visitation grants

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) IT department has made changes to the CMP Visitation Project to simplify the process for paying nursing facilities. These changes were made to the ODM system on Tuesday evening. The remaining applications will be reviewed and approved or denied by the end of this week. The review of receipts and creation of invoices will start by the end of this week. IT has automated this process so the time for processing receipts will be greatly reduced.

Below is the updated data for the CMP remote visitation project:

  • 167 requests received ($424,663)
  • 76 approved ($202,165)
  • 2 denied (1-items not reimbursable, 1-assisted living)

ODM asked LeadingAge Ohio to remind members that when entering online applications, to please make sure you use the full facility business name that is on file with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

CAPC recruiting LTC nurses

The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) is recruiting nurses who work in long-term care settings for a new peer learning and support project, the LTC Nurse Leaders Circle. It’s open to nurses of any level who work in any long-term care setting with current work in or an interest in improving access to palliative care services for residents. There is a preference for those who work in settings with a significant number of minority residents.

Participants of this Circle get access to CAPC’s courses and resources (which can be used to obtain continuing education credits), as well as a chance to learn and share ideas and challenges with their peers across the country. Anyone interested an register via this link and there is more information available in this flyer.

CDC guidance for vaccinating homebound persons

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has come out with new guidance for vaccinating homebound persons with COVID-19 vaccine. The guidance goes into detail about the type of individual who might be considered homebound as well as the training, pre-vaccination planning, storage and handling of the vaccine prior to administration of the vaccine. Providers who are considering administering COVID-19 vaccines to homebound individuals should read the guidance thoroughly and follow the suggestions and procedures. One item the guidance does not discuss is the acquisition of the vaccines for homebound persons. A provider should reach out to their local health department to inquire about vaccine acquisition for homebound persons.

On Wednesday's Vaccine Stakeholder call, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) shared that the state estimates Ohio has approximately 22,000 homebound individuals. The CDC change – that a punctured vial can go from one home to another (within 6 hours), as long as cold storage requirements are maintained – should greatly enhance the ability to reach the homebound with vaccines. ODH is reviewing the CDC change and will provide guidance ASAP.

If you have any question regarding vaccinating homebound individuals, please contact Anne Shelley at ashelley@leadingageohio.org.

Home health claims processing issues

According to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), home health claims are not processing when the date for revenue code line 0023 on the Request for Anticipated Payment (RAP) does not match the date on line 0023 on the final claim. There are two reason codes associated with the date mismatch, reason code 38107 and U5391.  

Reason code 38107 occurs when the dates on the RAP and the final claim for line 0023 do not match. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) confirmed the instructions permit line 0023 on RAPs for subsequent periods to be the first date of the period to assure timely submission of RAPs, however, line 0023 on the claim must match that date. CMS does permit the actual first visit date to be different than line 0023 on the claim, but line 0023 on the RAP and claim must always match.  

Much of the confusion relates to the instructions in the Medicare Claims Processing Manual, Chapter 10 section 40.2, that reads, “For subsequent episodes, the HHA reports on the 0023 revenue code the date of the first visit provided during the episode/period, regardless of whether the visit was covered or non-covered.”

Agencies will need to correct line 0023 on the claim to match the RAP in order for claims with reason codes 38107 or U5391 to process.

Advocacy in Action member call: Monday, February 22

Join the LeadingAge Ohio policy team for the Advocacy in Action call next Monday, February 22 at 10:00AM to hear about LeadingAge Ohio’s legislative priorities for the SFY 2022-23 budget, and how to get involved in advocating for appropriate payment for aging services. Members will be encouraged to sign up for LeadingAge Ohio’s Virtual Lobby Week, taking place March 8-12. Advocacy in Action calls are held at 10:00AM on the second and fourth Monday of each month throughout the budget season.

Members can join the Zoom call from their computer here.

Meeting ID: 915-089-7248
Meeting Passcode: 634189

To join via phone, dial: (646) 558-8656; meeting ID: 915-089-7248.

One-touch dial: 16465588656,9150897248#,,,,#

Next week’s LeadingAge Ohio all-member call to focus on NF budget issues

As Ohio’s biennial budget process begins, LeadingAge Ohio invites all members to join them for a layman’s conversation on Medicaid nursing facility reimbursement: why it matters to all aging services providers, and why this reimbursement consumes a disproportionate amount of state lawmakers’ attention and energy every two years.

The presentation will be hosted by LeadingAge Ohio's Susan Wallace and HW&Co.'s Ryan Kramer, and will be specifically geared towards administrators, managers and other non-financial staff, as well as others across the aging continuum who have wondered why nursing homes get so much attention. To get the most out of the call, nursing home providers are encouraged to know the various elements of your organization’s nursing home rate (case mix, quality points, etc.), which can be found here.

The all-member call is scheduled for Tuesday, February 23 at 11:30AM. Members can register in advance.

2021 LeadingAge Ohio Compensation Survey: Request to participate

LeadingAge Ohio, in partnership with LeadingAge Ohio partner L.R. Webber, will conduct its annual compensation survey beginning Monday, February 22.  L.R. Webber has a long and proven track record of working with leading national organizations in all industries, including nonprofit and health care organizations, to develop and administer custom compensation surveys. Last year’s survey included data from over 200 LeadingAge Ohio facilities, a number that has grown significantly in the last three years. As always, strong participation is needed in order to have the most reliable data.

Members interested in participating in the survey must complete the Authorization and Verification Form and send to Jennifer Taylor at jtaylor@leadingageohio.org

We encourage all members to participate!  For questions regarding the survey, Jennifer Taylor at jtaylor@leadingageohio.org.

COVID-19: A Year Later regulatory compliance webinar

On Thursday, March 11 at 1:00PM, LeadingAge Ohio Partner, AssuredPartners will host the COVID-19: A Year Later webinar.

Since the start of 2020, long-term services and supports have been severely impacted by COVID-19, with the outbreak causing higher rates of infection, morbidity, and mortality. The webinar will discuss the legal and regulatory implications COVID-19 has had with senior living communities. The program will discuss best practices in regulatory compliance along with management of the survey process. AssuredPartners will also explore the impact from an insurance claims perspective.

To register for this webinar, please click here.

Analyzing the OCR HIPAA settlement of 2020 - Tips, pitfalls and what to avoid webinar

LeadingAge Ohio associate firm BlueOrange Compliance is offering a free webinar to all members. BlueOrange Compliance has researched why health care organizations are getting punished by the Office for Civil Rights, and will share lessons learned and best practices with members. By looking at trends and patterns, BlueOrange Compliance can better focus energies on the areas that matter most to the enforcers. A Q&A session will be available after the event.

This webinar will take place Thursday, February 25 at 1:00PM and you can register here.

Annual State of Seniors Housing survey

Since 1992, the State of Seniors Housing survey has captured and widely disseminated financial performance data for seniors housing communities. LeadingAge has asked for member participation to provide a representative picture of the industry. Please note that this year’s survey has been modified slightly to capture important COVID-related data.

Please forward the 2021 State of Seniors Housing Survey to the appropriate individual in your organization to complete in its entirety and submit completed surveys to colleen.blumenthal@healthtrust.com by close of business Monday, March 22. Questions about the survey should be directed to Colleen Blumenthal of HealthTrust at (941) 363-7502 or at her email address noted above.

Properties eligible for inclusion in survey include the following:

  • For-profit or not-for-profit communities
  • Communities where the majority of units provide Independent Living, including Active Adult
  • Communities where the majority of units provide Assisted Living services
  • Communities where the majority of units provide Memory Care
  • Life Plan Communities/Continuing care retirement communities

Please note: Do not complete surveys for properties where rates are subsidized, such as Sec. 202 elderly housing.

If you contributed data for a given property last year, it is particularly important that you participate so that “same-store” industry trends in revenues, costs, and census can be analyzed. All organizations that complete surveys will receive a complimentary copy of The State of Seniors Housing 2021, which compiles the survey results for comparisons to your own operations.

All organizations that complete surveys will receive a complimentary copy of The State of Seniors Housing 2021, which compiles the survey results for comparisons to your own operations.

For owners or managers of multiple properties, please submit data for as many properties as is practical. For consistency with prior years, please exclude COVID-19 related Provider Relief Funds from revenues and recognized COVID-19 expenses on Tab 2. These items should be broken out separately on the 2B tab.

LeadingAge Need to Know: COVID-19 – February 18, 2021

LeadingAge shares the latest coronavirus news and resources with members twice each weekday. This morning's update featured information on "100 Days of Advocacy: Make Your Voice Heard".

Check out the full report here.


                Linkage Connect                         Buerger


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. LeadingAge is continuing its daily calls for all members.  To participate in these daily online updates, members should register here.  

LeadingAge Ohio is working to ensure that the information in our daily alerts, on our website, and all coronavirus-related communications is as accurate as possible. However, LeadingAge Ohio makes no guarantees about the accuracy of the information. 

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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.