Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Wednesday, April 22 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
LeadingAge Ohio is holding an all-member COVID-19 update call tomorrow, Thursday, April 23 at 10:30 a.m.
Callers will hear a case study of a nursing home and hospital in Northeast Ohio who agreed upon protocols for addressing COVID positive/probable residents. They will be joined by a physician who is one of the designated leaders in a designated COVID-19 zone. This discussion will provide the latest hospital-facility-health department protocol the Administration has presented, which turns attention to nursing homes and other congregate settings as the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, there will be Q&A with Stephanie DeWees, including feedback on a recently competed infection control survey.
Call in registration is as follows:
For best call quality, we encourage using your computer audio. This also allows callers to easily send questions to the speakers via the 'chat' function. Questions can also be sent to the COVID19@leadingageohio.org email address before or during the call.
For best call quality, we encourage using your computer audio.
Dial in information:
Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +1 312 626 6799
Webinar ID: 930 2630 1126
Per last Friday’s COVID-19 Daily Report, LeadingAge Ohio announced it will convene a conference call of hospice bereavement professionals tomorrow, Thursday, April 23 from 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. The call will gauge the capacity within Ohio’s community bereavement programs and begin to outline a response plan to build capacity and/or mobilize support for families and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Individuals must register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please share this opportunity with your bereavement team.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) continue to collect and aggregate daily data from long-term care (LTC) providers, non-long term (NLTC) providers and hospitals. The survey data collected from providers is helpful in making accurate projections to inform state-wide planning.
ODM sent over a list of reminders for providers when completing this survey:
ODM stated that providers will notice changes within the survey as of yesterday. Updates to both the questions and the terminology used among the questions have been made to ensure accurate data reporting and to align with the most recent responses and feedback received.
Last night, the U.S. Senate passed a bill authorizing new funding for key programs that are important for members engaged in fighting COVID-19.
The Senate measure includes $300 billion more for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program which ran out of money last week; more than $50 billion for other SBA emergency loans; $75 billion more for the fund we call the "Provider Relief Fund"; and $25 billion for testing, with federal, state and local obligations to identify how they will implement testing.
The House is expected to return on Thursday to pass the bill.
LeadingAge is advocating on several fronts to eliminate or significantly change the nursing home Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting requirements that were released on Sunday evening.
Today, LeadingAge is meeting with CDC and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on this issue. LeadingAge sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma last evening, urging that they rescind the requirement because it is duplicative and will increase consumer confusion and nursing home staff burden. LeadingAge is suggesting one standardized reporting form for universal reporting to states, localities, federal agencies and the public. LeadingAge is finalizing a legislative request that will be added to its next stimulus bill requests.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) confirmed yesterday on the hospice stakeholder call that the initial and comprehensive assessment for hospice can be done through telehealth, noting that it is still critical to be able to assess the patient to get all the data needed. The IDT must determine that the patient care needs can be met by the type of technology used and that the service/technology is specified on the plan of care. The hospice face-to-face encounter performed via telehealth continues to need audio and visual capabilities to be compliant.
Mollie Gurian, Director of Hospice, Palliative and Home Health Policy at LeadingAge, documented this in an article last week.
LeadingAge posted an article last night regarding new funds available under the Older Americans Act (OAA) and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Both programs could potentially support services for affordable housing providers.
Governor DeWine yesterday announced the creation of a new Testing Strike Force team lead by former Governors Richard Celeste and Bob Taft that will work with leaders from business, academia, and public health to be part of the effort to help Ohio source critical testing items such a reagents. Governor DeWine also announced that the FDA has approved the use of a new reagent for testing developed by Thermo Fisher which will help with the state’s testing capabilities.
The FDA has authorized the first diagnostic test with a home collection option for COVID-19. Specifically, the FDA re-issued the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) COVID-19 RT-PCR Test to permit testing of samples self-collected by patients at home using LabCorp’s Pixel by LabCorp COVID-19 Test home collection kit.
LeadingAge has successfully advocated for provisions and policies that directly help members maintain operations while providing the best care and services during the pandemic. Today, hundreds of LeadingAge staff, state executives and members from across the country would have descended on Washington D.C., for meetings with members of Congress as part of its annual Lobby Day. While LeadingAge cannot be on Capitol Hill in person today, it is still fighting for providers.
Join LeadingAge and make your voice heard! Contact your representative or senator on this National Day of Action for Aging Services.
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.