CMS has issued several blanket waivers for long term care providers in pages 9-12. These blanket waivers are in effect, with a retroactive effective date of March 1, 2020 through the end of the emergency declaration.
Today we are providing you with several updates related to onsite COVID-19 testing programs in nursing homes and rest homes, MassHealth update on coverage and N95 fit testing guidance. Please continue to visit our dedicated COVID-19 webpage for resources and updates.
Talking Points for Crisis Communications: COVID-19 Outbreak COVID-19 Specific Talking Points Skilled nursing facilities care for the most vulnerable residents of the Commonwealth and their health and safety is always our top priority. We are staying in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps to keep our residents and staff safe. We are following the recommended preventative actions issued by the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Today we are providing you with several updates related to Department of Labor’s guidance on leave exemptions, recent media articles on COVID-19 recovery SNFs and a virtual town hall to support frontline healthcare workers.
With enhanced visitor restrictions now in place, staff members at long term care communities across the Commonwealth are using creative approaches to keep residents engaged and socially active during this extremely challenging time. Whether it be playing hallway bingo, window visits, hallway noodle baseball, or virtual visits and hugs, all levels of staff have taken extraordinary efforts to continue providing a safe, healthy and connected community for their residents.
Please join the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for a call on COVID-19 with Nursing Homes today at 4:30 PM. CMS leadership will provide updates on the agency’s latest guidance. There will be audience Q&A and an opportunity for you to share best practices with your peers.
On March 23, CMS released guidance prioritizing and suspending most federal and state survey agency (SSA) surveys, and delaying revisit surveys, for the next three weeks beginning on March 20, 2020, for all nursing homes. For non-IJ related onsite surveys that are currently in process, survey teams are instructed to end the survey and exit the facility.
Healthcare facilities, including workers of nursing homes, rest homes and assisted living residences, have been designated as ‘COVID-19 Essential Services’ and are exempt from Governor Baker’s emergency order issued today to require all businesses to close their close their workplace by March 24th at noon.
Mass Senior Care provides an update on testing of persons with suspect COVID-19, utilizing non-direct care staff to support needs, making decisions on essential staff entering your building, resident laundry guidance with COVID-19 and when families want to do residents’ laundry and important webinars/conference calls this week.
Mass Senior Care is providing a brief update on the following 3 issues: (1) Approved list of Exempt Emergency child care programs which prioritize children of health care workers; (2) federal Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster loans for small businesses and (3) Applicability of the New Paid Leave Provisions in the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Over the past week, it has been incredibly uplifting to witness the extraordinary efforts our long term care facility staff have undertaken to care for residents during the COVID-19 outbreak. With CMS and CDC guidance changing at a rapid pace, all levels of staff have demonstrated their commitment to keeping our residents safe, healthy and emotionally and socially connected to their loved ones and their communities during this uncertain time.
To: MSCA Members From: Tara Gregorio, President RE: Attorney General Healey Issues Emergency Regulation Prohibiting Price Gouging of Critical Goods and Services During COVID-19 Emergency Date: March 20, 2020 Over the past week, Mass Senior Care has received reports from members of alleged price gouging activities, which we have immediately reported to the Attorney General’s Office and other government agencies. Today, Attorney General Maura Healey promulgated an emergency regulation that addresses price gouging of necessary goods and services during the
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara Gregorio, President Re: Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs Date: March 20, 2020 The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) has established a process to approve Exempt Emergency Childcare Programs to serve vulnerable children and the children of families who are required to work to maintain the health, safety and welfare of all commonwealth citizens. This approach prioritizes public health and safety while maintaining critical service for vulnerable children and the children
Today the Department of Early Education and Care had established a process to approve Exempt Emergency Childcare Programs to serve vulnerable children and the children of families who are required to work to maintain the health, safety and welfare of all commonwealth citizens.
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara Gregorio, President Re: Supply and Vendor Resource List Date: March 20, 2020 During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mass Senior Care members are encouraged to find long term care products, supplies and services through our list of Associate Members/Preferred Vendors. These are companies that share a genuine interest with Mass Senior Care in furthering the quality of long term care and are dedicated to the success of the profession. In addition, Mass Senior Care
Today, the DPH released guidance on “HCP with Potential Exposure to Patients with COVID-19”. The Department’s guidance is issued in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Interim U.S. Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure in a Healthcare Setting to Patients with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara Gregorio, President Re: Guidance to Nursing Homes on Admissions from and Discharges to Hospitals Relating to COVID-19 Date: March 18, 2020 In order to address member concerns related to accepting patients being discharged from the hospital, Mass Senior Care Association has developed “Guidance to Nursing Homes on Admissions from and Discharges to Hospitals Relating To COVID-19” . This guidance is consistent with the current CDC guidance and has been reviewed and discussed with
In an effort to maintain the availability of first responders and health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Baker today issued an Emergency Order closing all Massachusetts early education and child care centers and the state will instead open exempt emergency child care programs with priority access for children of health care workers.
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Assisted Living Members From: Tara Gregorio, President Re: EOEA Provides FAQs to March 16th Guidance for ALRs Date: March 18, 2020 Today, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) released FAQs for assisted living residences, FAQ #1 – “Visitor” Access, Congregate Dining, Group Activities. This memo is the first set of FAQs by EOEA addressing the March 16th Revised Guidance for Assisted Living Residences – Restrict Visitors, Activities and Communal Dining , and includes answers
On March 16th, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs released revised guidance for assisted living residences,Amended Assisted Living Residence Operators Guidance and Policies and Procedures to Protect Residents, Facilities, and Services during the COVID-19 Outbreak. The amended guidance includes changes to restrict all visitors except for certain compassionate care situations, eliminate group activities and cease communal dining.
On March 14th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued two waivers to both the 3-Day Stay and Spell of Illness requirements retroactive to March 1, 2020 and in place for 60 days with the option for renewal as needed.
There are important conference calls for long term care facilities. CDC will be having a conference call on Tuesday, March 17th at 2pm. Massachusetts DPH will hold a weekly conference calls for nursing homes and rest homes.
Over the weekend, AHCA released Communal Dining Guidance in response to CMS’s S&C Memo Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Nursing Homes (REVISED) dated March 13, 2020. AHCA has reviewed this guidance with the CDC and it is based on their continuing assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak. We recognize the enormous burden being placed on facilities and this, like most guidance needs to be assessed and implemented on a facility-by-facility basis.
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Human Resources Committee From: Tara Gregorio, President Re: Greater Boston YMCA Announces Support Services Date: March 15, 2020 As a follow up to Friday’s brainstorming call regarding child care services for nursing facility staff, we wanted to make you aware that the Greater Boston YMCA has announced that, in response to school closures and for families who utilize their before and after school programs, they will provide day-long programs and meals to for children
Mass Senior Care is updating members on Massachusetts' COVID-19 Command Center, CMS' revised visitor guidance and CMS released guidance on waiving the Medicare 3-day rule, as hospitals work diligently to increase their surge capacity.
At this afternoon’s Press Conference at the White House, Seema Verma, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that ALL nursing homes should restrict all visitors and allow only essential personnel into nursing facilities. If you have not implemented this restriction, we strongly urge you to do so immediately! We will continue to review the order and send additional details shortly.
Mass Senior Care is strongly urging all nursing facilities to immediately limit visitation in your facility to essential visits only. We strongly recommend that you review your Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) as well as surge plans for your facility. This virus is dangerous to our residents and to prevent it from entering our facilities all people who are not needed to meet residents’ needs or keep operations going should be asked to not enter.
This afternoon, the the Department of Public Health released updated COVID-19 related guidance for long-term care facilities in the Commonwealth. We urge each member to review this important guidance and immediately begin restricting visitors in communities with “COVID-19 community spread” and limiting visitors to essential visits only, if your “facility is in a county or is adjacent to other counties where a COVID-19 case has occurred.” The Department’s guidance aligns with CMS’ March 9th recommendation that was released earlier this week and is already being implemented by many member facilities.
Due to the growing concerns presented by COVID-19 (the coronavirus) and out of an abundance of caution for nursing facility staff, Mass Senior Care Association is postponing educational programs scheduled in March 2020. We are attempting to reschedule for a later date and will keep all registrants updated once we have a new date. The following programs will be postponed: PDPM SIX MONTHS LATER: THE MASSACHUSETTS EXPERIENCE (March 12, 2020) MDS 3.0 3-Day Competency Program (March 16-18, 2020) Strategies for
On March 9th, CMS released S&C: QSO-20-14-NH Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in nursing homes (REVISED). This memorandum includes revised guidance and expanded recommendations for limiting visitors and individuals in nursing facilities. Mass Senior Care Association is in contact with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and has strongly urged them to issue guidance for nursing facilities to protect the safety of residents and staff. If you have questions, please contact Helen
State budget deliberations are intensifying, and Mass Senior Care is encouraging members to contact their State Representatives and State Senators to urge them to make nursing facility care a top priority in FY 2021. Lawmakers are currently meeting with House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz and Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues to discuss and submit their FY 2021 budget priorities.
This week the Worcester Telegram & Gazette highlighted the nursing facility crisis in its article, "Residential care at a crossroads,” and reported on the tremendous impact Medicaid funding has on the workforce and its effect on the state’s nursing facilities.
Mass Senior Care has a dedicated page on our website to share important memos and resources with all members about coronavirus, officially named COVID-19. Updated guidance from Massachusetts Department of Public Health and CMS are also available on the page. As concerns arise with COVID-19, Mass Senior Care members should visit the website daily for the latest information.
Mass Senior Care is encouraging nursing facility staff, residents, family members and vendors to join us for State House Visibility Day on Tuesday, March 24th at 11:00am which will coincide with the Joint Committee on Way and Means Budget hearing at Gardner Auditorium in the Massachusetts State House.
Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) informed the DPH MA MOLST Advisory Subcommittee that they received the Subcommittee’s recommendation to adopt the National POLST form and process for use in Massachusetts, and as a result, is in process of developing a multi-year plan to move from MA MOLST to National POLST.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued three new Quality, Safety and Oversight memos regarding COVID-19 - two apply to nursing homes and a third to hospitals. We strongly encourage you to review the following memos.
Licensed nursing home administrators are required to complete 40 hours of continuing education (CEUs) between July 1, even year and June 30, next even year, making June 30, 2020 the deadline for completing the CEU requirement.
AHCA/NCAL has a dedicated page on their website to share important resources with all members of the long-term care community about COVID-19. As concerns arise with the emerging coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, AHCA is working nationally with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to ensure our members receive necessary supplies and guidance to prevent the spread of this disease. Long-term care providers should visit the website daily for the latest information.
AHCA is providing members with a resource on tips for tackling the most common Life Safety Code (NFPA 101- 2012 edition) and Health Care Facilities Code (NFPA 99-2012 edition) deficiencies and suggestions on how to correct possible deficiencies in your facilities. These tips were developed by members of AHCA’s Life Safety Committee based on deficiencies frequency cited across the country.
In an effort to keep MSCA members updated on the latest guidance regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), below are infection control recommendations we encourage you to implement in order to protect your residents, staff and visitors. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to closely monitor the emergence of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The risk to Massachusetts residents currently remains low.
Our national association, the American Health Care Association (AHCA), has provided the following note regarding some claims submitted under PDPM to report information previously missed or that was entered incorrectly in the previous submission, have created problems. This may result in unexpected payment adjustments for the SNF PPS Part A claim, even when the initially submitted claim was paid correctly.