Issue: May 8, 2020

Published on May 8, 2020

Articles in this issue:

Alert: DOH Requesting Detailed Staff Rosters by Tomorrow at 4:00 pm

Author: Esq Stephen Hanse and Nancy Leveille* Published in Clinical & Quality

DOH held a meeting late this afternoon to announce they are planning to establish COVID-19 testing of all staff in all SNF. They are preparing a DAL which is targeted to come out tonight with the specific details. DOH will be requesting a detailed roster of all staff in each SNF to be completed by 4:00 pm Saturday, May 8, 2020. As soon as we receive the DAL with full information, we will send it out.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Stephen B. Hanse, Esq.
President & CEO
518-462-4800 x11

Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Director, Special Projects and Educational Development
518-462-4800 x20

AHCA: Update #63 | Summary of CMS Reporting Requirements

Author: Nancy Leveille and Jackie Pappalardi* Published in Clinical & Quality

AHCA has a new update related to the CMS reporting requirements to residents, families and representatives and to CDC via the NHSN. Click on AHCA’s Summary Details to guide you. It also includes specific examples on the cumulative data and the start dates of each reporting component. Additional update from AHCA: NYSHFA staff spoke with AHCA this afternoon and confirmed that CMS reporting to residents, families and representatives must include staff who test positive each day into the daily count and as you establish your initial cumulative COVID positive number today, you must include the total number of staff who are COVID positive on May 8.

In This COVID-19 Update:

Summary of CMS Reporting Requirements 

AHCA developed a detailed summary of the QSO memo issued by CMS on May 6, 2020, including further information on: 

Although CMS has provided clarification on some aspects of these new requirements in the memo, we continue to communicate with CMS and CDC on several outstanding issues and to advocate for needed flexibility including an extended grace period for NHSN reporting enforcement due to the current delays and backlogs in NHSN enrollment.

Attestation Period Extended for CARES Act Provider Relief Funds 

Today, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced that the attestation window and related acceptance of Terms and Conditions has been extended to 45 days, formerly 30 days, from the date a provider received a payment to attest to and accept the Terms and Conditions or return the funds. Members will need to identify the date of their initial funding relief payment and identify their new attestation and Terms and Conditions acceptance date based on the extension. In the press release, DHHS offers an example of how the extension of the window will be operationalized.

Shortly after announcing the extension of the provider-specific attestation period, DHHS released an updated set of FAQs. Members should review the FAQs in detail and compare these with the Terms and Conditions. Below are preliminary highlights. Additional AHCA/NCAL assessment will be provided tomorrow. 

AHCA/NCAL will continue to submit questions and examples of challenging fund scenarios to DHHS including Change in Ownership (CHOW), Tax Identification Number (TIN) aggregation, disaggregation, or lack of TIN arrangements, additional questions about financial terminology and use of tax filing data for validation. 

Please email COVID19@ahca.org for additional questions, or visit ahcancal.org/coronavirus for more information.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Director, Special Projects and Educational Development
518-462-4800 x20

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16

AHCA: Update #64 | NHSN Enrollment Delays & Tips

Author: Nancy Leveille and Jackie Pappalardi* Published in Clinical & Quality

AHCA announces new webinars from NHSN to continue assisting providers with the CDC reporting requirements. See full info below.

In This COVID-19 Update:

NHSN Enrollment Delays & Tips

It is taking longer than anticipated for nursing homes to enroll in CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) due to high demand from the new CMS reporting requirements. The NHSN have recruited additional staff to reduce the processing time of enrollment requests.

Access detailed registration instructions for new facilities. Facilities are encouraged to review the Enrollment Guidance document for a more in-depth explanation of the enrollment process. Nursing homes should keep documentation of efforts made to enroll in NHSN. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: For the best experience and quicker access to the system, please be sure you are replying to a registration/enrollment email. Emailing the NHSN user support helpdesk will result in longer wait times for a reply. 

Additionally, NHSN is providing two live Zoom sessions to address enrollment specific questions. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

LTCFs COVID-19 Live Q&A Session for Module and Enrollment Specific Questions 
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
1:00 PM (Eastern time) 
Register 

Thursday, May 14, 2020
2:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Register

PPE Supplier List

Knowing whether a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplier is reliable is challenging these days with all the pop-up PPE suppliers and PPE scams. To assist members, AHCA/NCAL has developed a list of PPE suppliers that have recently served long term care providers . The list is not an endorsement or seal of approval of any particular PPE supplier, but can be used as a resource when PPE is not available through their ordinary supply chains. 

Members should keep in mind that PPE demand currently far exceeds PPE supply. Suppliers are facing unprecedented challenges obtaining PPE, so the suppliers on this list may not have PPE at the time they are contacted. These PPE suppliers are doing their best to fill orders as PPE shipments arrive or their PPE is manufactured. If a supplier is out of stock, ask when to check back. 

This list will be updated as more PPE suppliers are identified that have successfully delivered PPE supplies to AHCA/NCAL members during the pandemic. 

Webinar on PPE Use Next Week 

The National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC) is hosting a town hall forum next week to answer frequently asked questions surrounding the use of Personal Protective Equipment in the care of COVID-19 patients. See how to register online below.
 

NETEC Webinar: PPE! You've Got Questions. We've Got Answers.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 
12:00 pm ET 
Register 

Please email COVID19@ahca.org for additional questions, or visit ahcancal.org/coronavirus for more information.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Director, Special Projects and Educational Development
518-462-4800 x20

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16

DOH: COVID-19 Get Tested Flyer

Author: Nancy Leveille and Jackie Pappalardi* Published in Clinical & Quality

Essential workers in New York State can make an appointment to be tested at one of our drive through or walk in testing sites by calling the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or online at covid19screening.health.ny.gov. See attached flyer for full details.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Director, Special Projects and Educational Development
518-462-4800 x20

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16

MLN Connects May 8, 2020 COVID-19 Special Edition

Author: Nancy Leveille and Jackie Pappalardi* Published in Clinical & Quality

This edition of the MLN Connects contains information on Nursing Home Reporting, Updated Telehealth Video, Pharmacies & Other Suppliers Can Enroll as Labs, IRF Flexibilities.

New Guidance Available on Requirements for Notification of Confirmed and Suspected COVID-19 Cases Among Residents and Staff in Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are now required to report the first week of COVID-19 data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) beginning May 8 but no later than May 17. For the first time, all 15,000 nursing homes will be reporting this data directly to the CDC through its reporting tool. This reporting requirement is the first action of its kind in the agency’s history. On April 19, CMS announced the agency would be requiring facilities to report COVID-19 information to the CDC and to families. Within three weeks of that announcement, on April 30, CMS issued an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period with the new regulatory requirements. As nursing homes report this data to the CDC, we will be taking swift action and publicly posting this information so all Americans have access to accurate and timely information on COVID-19 in nursing homes.

CMS has a longstanding requirement for nursing homes to report cases of communicable diseases, such as COVID-19, to the appropriate state or local health department. This new requirement not only helps health departments intervene when needed but serves to provide awareness to the public (e.g., families) and surveillance for public health agencies and the CDC. The importance of ongoing transparency and information sharing has proven to be one of the keys to the battle against this pandemic. Building upon the successes of the Trump Administration prior to COVID-19, CMS has strongly supported transparency, such as the work done over the past several years to improve public access and understanding of nursing home inspection reports and expand the information available to consumers on Nursing Home Compare. The agency remains committed to greater transparency and plans to publicly release new data by the end of May. CMS will never stop working to give patients, residents, and families the clearest and most accurate information possible.

Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions 

Telehealth Video: Medicare Coverage and Payment of Virtual Services

This updated video provides answers to common questions about the expanded Medicare telehealth services benefit under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. 

Medicare Pharmacies and Other Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Independent Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories to Help Address COVID-19 Testing MLN Matters® Article

A new MLN Matters Special Edition Article SE20017 on Medicare Pharmacies and Other Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Independent Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories to Help Address COVID-19 Testing is available. Learn how to temporarily enroll to be an additional laboratory resource to meet the urgent need to increase COVID-19 testing capability.

COVID-19: IRF Flexibilities During the PHE

CMS is exercising regulatory flexibilities for Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs) during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) to waive the 60 percent rule.

We are also waiving IRF coverage and classification requirements if all of these criteria are satisfied:

Add the following letters at the end of your unique hospital patient identification number (the number that identifies the patient’s medical record in the IRF) to identify patients eligible for each waiver:

For More Information:

COVID-19: IRF Interdisciplinary Team Meetings During the Pandemic

CMS expects Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs) to hold in-person weekly interdisciplinary team meetings to discuss Medicare Part A fee-for-service patients. During the public health emergency, it may be safest to conduct meetings electronically. We will accept all appropriate forms of social distancing precautions.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Director, Special Projects and Educational Development
518-462-4800 x20

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16