To: Mass Senior Care Members
From: Tara M. Gregorio, President
Re: COVID-19 Update: NF Testing Resources; DPH Issues Updated Comprehensive PPE Guidance; Health Care Services; Weekly DPH and CMS Call Reminder
Date: July 6, 2020
Nursing Facility Testing Resources
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is requiring that nursing facilities implement a surveillance testing program as of July 1st beginning with a baseline testing of 90% of their staff who previously tested negative. Staff testing must be completed no later than July 19th. On June 30th, the Department of Public Health issued Guidance on Surveillance Testing on Department of Public Health issued “DPH Guidance on Surveillance Testing” and MassHealth on July 3rd issued Nursing Facility Bulletin 148: COVID-19 Baseline and Surveillance Testing Requirements for Nursing Facilities . Nursing facilities may partner or contract with hospitals, community health centers, ambulance/emergency medical services providers, clinical laboratories, or other entities able to provide COVID-19 testing services. It is expected that MassHealth will fund $100 per staff test using the same supplemental payment process that was used for the original baseline testing. For resident testing, facilities are encouraged to work with a Medicare-certified lab for testing and payment. To assist members in completing testing, please find the testing providers available here.
If you need additional information on testing providers, please contact Jennifer Chen, Director of Membership at email@example.com . Thank you.
DPH Issues UPDATED Comprehensive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidance
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today issued updated comprehensive PPE guidance . DPH has developed this comprehensive guidance, based upon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, to clarify the PPE that health care personnel (HCP) use in the clinical care areas, particularly during this time when we are optimizing our supplies.
Health Care Services for Nursing Facility Residents
In response to member inquiries, Mass Senior Care has confirmed with Department of Public Health staff that nursing facilities, consistent with infection prevention and control policies, may allow dental, vision, podiatry and other necessary health care services to nursing facility residents.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Weekly Call for Nursing Homes and Rest Homes
The next DPH conference call for nursing homes and rest homes is scheduled for Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 11:00 AM . This call will include members of DPH’s Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, and Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management.
Phone Number: 888-390-5007
Participant Code: 3479679
CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls
CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Nursing Homes calls are twice a month on Wednesday at 4:30 PM.
Wednesday, July 8th at 4:30 – 5:00 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 2997138