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02/19/2021

Today's COVID-19 Report: Tuesday, February 23

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Tuesday, February 23 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

  • Visitation guidance for assisted living or nursing homes: No new guidelines but visitation may be opening as cases drop
  • Vaccine maintenance program enrollment survey: Closes at 11:59PM tonight
  • Delays in survey follow up: LeadingAge Ohio can help!
  • ODM’s e-device CMP funds are still available: April 1 application date deadline
  • 2021 compensation survey: Submit an authorization form today
  • Leadership and Staff Development: A message from ImpactDS Consulting
  • LeadingAge Need to Know

Visitation guidance for assisted living or nursing homes: No new guidelines but visitation may be opening as cases drop

LeadingAge Ohio nursing facility members should have received a letter yesterday encouraging them to follow Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance regarding nursing home indoor visitation. As the number of nursing-home cases continues to drop, Governor DeWine yesterday reminded nursing home staff and families of nursing home residents about the status of visitation in Ohio's nursing homes. Per QSO-20-39, indoor visitation is permitted when:

  • No new onset of COVID-19 cases have been reported in the last 14 days;
  • The facility is not currently conducting outbreak testing; and
  • CMS reports the COVID-19 county positivity rate at less than 10 percent (Ohio’s CMS-calculated positivity rates for the week ending 2/17 are also available through the Ohio Department of Aging website). 
    Note:  While the QSO-20-39 references positivity percentages as the guide for visitation, yesterday’s Governor’s letter and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) guidance from this past fall both point to the color coding as the guidance for visitation. CMS provides further clarification on this approach in their FAQ.

Reminder: Compassionate care visits (described in QSO-20-39) are always permitted regardless of the criteria above. LeadingAge Ohio was also asked to remind nursing home and assisted living facilities to report visitation status to Ohio's Long-Term Care Visitation Dashboard.

There continues to be no new state guidance on visitation in assisted living. The 6th Amended Order remains in effect.

Vaccine maintenance program enrollment survey: Closes at 11:59PM tonight

The Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) wanted to pass along a "Thank you" to those members that have already completed the COVID-19 Vaccine Maintenance Program enrollment survey. Those who have not fully completed and submitted the survey, please note that it closes today. While participation in the state-supported vaccine program is optional, it is expected that every facility will establish a process for routinely vaccinating new residents, new staff, and those choosing to be vaccinated. We understand that in question 19 of the survey, the 2nd option (“Joint Administered”) indicates that a provider must be “an enrolled provider” to quality. If your facility is not already registered, we encourage the use of option 1 (“Pharmacy Administered”) as we seek additional clarification on this 2nd option as it’s presented. The next window of opportunity to enroll into the State’s program will be March 8 - March 10. We will seek additional clarification of what is required for the “Joint Administered” option.

Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership Update:  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the coming weeks Long Term Care (LTC) Pharmacy Partners participating in the federal retail program will begin receiving limited vaccine allocations from the federal government to distribute to their LTC pharmacy locations. At this time, no announcement has been made by the CDC regarding the activation of this phase of the federal program. You can read more about the program here.

Please contact COVIDTesting@age.ohio.gov with questions or visit the ODA website here.  

Delays in survey follow up: LeadingAge Ohio can help!

LeadingAge Ohio has been contacted by multiple members who have experienced delays in follow-up from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) following adverse survey findings. Because of delays, providers have come dangerously close to dates when penalties--including civil monetary penalties or payment denial—may take effect. The slow-down is due to a backlog in surveys which ODH is working to clear.  

LeadingAge Ohio encourages members who are awaiting notification from ODH that they are in compliance following a survey to reach out to Stephanie DeWees at sdewees@leadingageohio.org. LeadingAge Ohio has been successful elevating issues to ensure providers aren’t penalized for ODH’s backlog.  

ODM’s e-device CMP funds are still available: April 1 application date deadline

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) has received and approved 760 applications for facilities to receive $3,000 each for electronic devices to encourage residents’ connections with loved ones. ODM’s e-device CMP funds are still available to nursing facilities that haven’t taken advantage of the program. Applications will be accepted up through April 1, 2021. Simply contact ODM at NFCMP@medicaid.ohio.gov to request the form. If your facility is approved (or already received approval), purchases must be made and receipts submitted to ODM on or before May 31 in order to be reimbursed. Your approval letter provides instructions for submitting receipts once the purchase is made.

2021 compensation survey: Submit an authorization form today 

It’s not too late for members to submit an authorization form to participate in the 2021 LeadingAge Ohio compensation survey.  This authorization form submission enables access to the portal for inputting data. So far over 180 LeadingAge Ohio members have submitted forms to participate in this year’s survey. Those organizations that participate in the survey will receive the survey results at no cost. Not only will the data serve providers, but it will also help inform LeadingAge Ohio’s advocacy efforts on important workforce challenges.

A feature in this year’s survey is the capture of vacation/PTO data to help members understand how paid time off, especially for hourly workers, is handled with other organizations. The survey results can be customized for geographic comparisons. We encourage all members to participate. Members interested in participating in the survey must complete the Authorization and Verification Form and send to Jennifer Taylor at jtaylor@leadingageohio.org

Leadership and Staff Development: A message from ImpactDS Consulting

LeadingAge Ohio would like to welcome new associate firm, ImpactDS Consutling. ImpactDS Consulting helps identify an organization’s strengths and areas for development based upon a thorough needs assessment. ImpactDS Consulting works to provide in-depth understanding of an organization’s history and specific needs.

For information on available workshops and services, as well as direct contact information, please click here.

LeadingAge Need to Know: COVID-19 – February 23, 2021

LeadingAge shares the latest coronavirus news and resources with members twice each weekday. This morning's update featured "McKnight’s Women of Distinction" awards program honorees.

Check out the full report here.


                Linkage Solutions                         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.