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04/05/2021

Today's COVID-19 Report: Tuesday, April 6

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Tuesday, April 6 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and other topics of importance.


REMINDER TO ALL MEMBERS

LeadingAge Ohio releases weekly Affordable Housing newsletters on Mondays and Home Health and Hospice newsletters on Tuesdays. Please email info@leadingageohio.org to receive either/both publications.

In Today's Report

  • Additional funding for adult day and senior centers, application window closes this Friday
  • CDC confirms HCP quarantine not required post travel
  • COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality Assistance Program extended, additional facility types included
  • Temporary claims hold pending congressional action to extend 2% sequester reduction suspension, insurance providers holding claims
  • LeadingAge Ohio member survey headed to inboxes this week
  • Don’t miss out: 2021 LeadingAge Ohio awards program nominations open through April 16
  • You asked... We answered regarding usage of approved KN95 masks on the FDA's PPE EUA list
  • You asked... We answered regarding two fully vaccinated residents refusing to sit more than six feet apart
  • You asked... We answered regarding bringing a pet into a facility
  • LeadingAge Need to Know: Fellowship Program for new CEOs and "Are You Ready to Go on a Journey" virtual study tour

Additional funding for adult day and senior centers, application window closes this Friday

Last month representatives of the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) announced the availability of a new round of relief funding for Ohio’s adult day and senior centers. In late 2020, ODA made $15.2 million available to these providers, but only $4.8 million was ultimately distributed. The new opportunity will make the remaining funds—over $10.3 million—again available to providers, this time with a deadline for expenditure extended through June 30, 2021.

To apply for funding, providers must first create a supplier ID before visiting the Office of Budget & Management grants portal to submit an application.  In addition to demographic information, the application includes questions regarding the funds an organization has received from the state to-date and estimates of both expenses and losses incurred by the provider as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The application window will close on April 9. ODA estimates it will take weeks to process the applications prior to issuing the awards.

Again, LeadingAge Ohio strongly encourages all adult day members apply for the funds. Questions may be directed to Susan Wallace, Chief Policy Officer at swallace@leadingageohio.org.

CDC confirms HCP quarantine not required post travel

LeadingAge Ohio asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to clarify travel restrictions for health care personnel. On Monday’s CDC COVID-19 Partner Update call, the CDC confirmed that fully vaccinated health care personnel (HCP) traveling domestically do not need to quarantine after travel. The CDC confirmed HCP should follow the same CDC travel guidance that has been released for the public. The CDC has created this search tool, also linked in the travel guidance, to help identify specific state guidance. Ohio notes that travelers are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days after coming from states with positivity rates of 15% or higher. This is a recommendation, not a legal requirement. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has also confirmed that travel history is not a required component of the screening requirements for nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

The CDC provides additional details on travel. Fully vaccinated individuals who are at least 2 weeks past the final dose in their vaccine series are considered fully vaccinated and can safely travel within the US while continuing to practice mitigation measures including masking, social distancing, avoiding crowds, and practicing hand hygiene. Fully vaccinated healthcare personnel do not need to be restricted from work. Fully vaccinated residents do not need to quarantine upon return to the nursing home.

Those who received the final dose in their vaccine series less than 2 weeks ago, who have received only one shot in a 2-shot series, or have received no vaccination at all must all follow the guidance for unvaccinated individuals. This means getting a viral test 1-3 days prior to traveling, another viral test 3-5 days after returning from travel, and self-quarantining for 7 days after returning from travel.

CDC recommends that unvaccinated individuals avoid being around people who are at increased risk for serious illness for 14 days after travel. This would mean that HCP would be restricted from work for 14 days, even if they are only quarantining in the community for 7 days. (e.g., you can go to the grocery store after Day 7 but cannot return to work until after Day 14). CDC recommends that unvaccinated residents quarantine for 14 days following readmission (returning to the nursing home when being out for more than 24 hours).

COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality Assistance Program extended, additional facility types included

The COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Assistance Program provides reimbursement for eligible applicants to help cover the costs of inspections, assessments, maintenance, and improvements to indoor heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to control the spread of COVID-19. It also provides reimbursement for secondary devices designed to destroy bacteria and mold and inactivate viruses.     

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has extended the deadline to apply for reimbursement for eligible expenses to June 30 and expanded the types of facilities eligible for the program.

Eligible employers include:

  • Facilities licensed by the Ohio Department of Health – Nursing homes, assisted living/residential care facilities, hospices.
  • Facilities recognized by the Ohio Department of Aging – Senior centers, adult day centers that are Medicaid providers in the PASSPORT, Ohio Home Care, or MyCare Ohio waiver programs.
  • Facilities certified/licensed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services – Substance use disorder residential treatment providers; Class 2 and Class 3 residential treatment providers (adult care facilities).
  • Facilities certified/recognized by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities – Residential Waiver settings (group homes), intermediate care facilities, adult day support providers that are Medicaid providers and have submitted a Provider Assurance Form.

Eligible expenses are those incurred in response to COVID-19 for the previously mentioned purposes on or after March 1, 2020, up to and including June 30, 2021. The application form includes a list of eligible expenses. Eligible applicants may apply for financial assistance more than once; however, it cannot exceed the maximum total amount of $15,000. Each nursing home, assisted living/residential care facility, or hospice with a separate ODH license is eligible. Each adult day center and adult day support provider is eligible per Medicaid number.

The funds used in this program come from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act. Eligible employers may receive up to $15,000 for the duration of the program.

To complete an application:

  1. Download the application.
  2. Complete all sections of the application, print it, and sign it. 
  3. Email the signed application to grants@bwc.state.oh.us. Please keep a copy for your files. 

A completed application submission must include all of the following:  

  • Completed application form and signed agreement. 
  • Completed Appendix A – list of expenses. 
  • All required purchase documentation. 

Information to have available while completing the application:

  • BWC policy number (if applicable)
  • Certification/license number (if applicable)
  • Invoices and proof of payment for expenses already incurred

Please allow up to 15 business days for the application to be reviewed and funds distributed by electronic funds transfer. BWC will email the applicant with the results. For general questions, contact BWC’s Division of Safety & Hygiene at 1-800-644-6292 or grants@bwc.state.oh.us.

Temporary claims hold pending congressional action to extend 2% sequester reduction suspension, insurance providers holding claims

In anticipation of possible congressional action to extend the 2% sequester reduction suspension, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have instructed Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to hold all claims with dates of service on or after April 1, 2021, for a short period without affecting providers’ cash flow. This is in an effort to try and minimize the volume of claims to reprocess. CMS has specifically stated they do not want to impact cash flow but they were not specific on how long they would hold claims, only stating “a short period of time.”

Other insurance providers have decided to hold claims as well. Through research by LeadingAge Ohio partner Squared Business Solutions:

  • Molina – Will hold Medicare and MyCare Ohio claims with dates of service after April 1, 2021 (per memo sent out)
  • Aetna – Will hold claims with dates of service after April 5, 2021 (per representative reached by phone)
  • Buckeye, Caresource, Anthem, and United Healthcare – Have not made a decision at this time (representatives reached have not received notification that claims will be held)
  • Medigold – They will not be holding claims.

LeadingAge Ohio member survey headed to inboxes this week

On April 8 the biennial LeadingAge Ohio member survey will be emailed to all LeadingAge Ohio members. LeadingAge Ohio conducts this survey in partnership with Association Metrics to assess members’ perspectives of LeadingAge Ohio’s strengths and weaknesses. Results feed into planning processes that help LeadingAge Ohio make critical decisions about programming development and resource allocation. Last completed in 2018 with record participation, the member survey's 2-year cycle was interrupted by COVID in 2020. All who receive and/or participate in LeadingAge Ohio newsletters, bulletins, education, and other programs are encouraged to participate. The survey is estimated to take 15 minutes.

Individuals who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing that includes the following prizes:

  • Full registration to the LeadingAge Ohio annual conference (2 available); 
  • $50 Amazon gift card (2 available);
  • $50 Starbucks gift card (2 available).

Any questions regarding the membership survey may be directed to Jennifer Taylor, Director Member Experience, at jtaylor@leadingageohio.org.

Don’t miss out: 2021 LeadingAge Ohio awards program nominations open through April 16

The LeadingAge Ohio awards program celebrates exemplary work by the individuals and organizations within its membership. The ongoing pandemic shines an even brighter spotlight on the work this year. This year’s awards program brings an opportunity to recognize the unprecedented caring, compassion and service demonstrated by so many during this past year’s COVID challenges.

Nominations for this year’s awards are open through April 16 with six different categories available. Visit the LeadingAge Ohio website for all the details.

You asked... We answered regarding usage of approved KN95 masks on the FDA's PPE EUA list

You asked:

If a facility is still implementing PPE contingency strategies, are they able to use an approved KN95 that is on the FDA's PPE EUA list?

We answered:

Yes, as long as there is documentation supporting why a facility is in crisis capacity for KN-95s. CDC’s optimization strategies for N95 respirator supply offer a continuum of options for use when PPE supplies are stressed, running low, or exhausted. Contingency and crisis capacity measures augment conventional capacity measures and are meant to be considered and implemented sequentially. Once N95 respirator availability returns to normal, healthcare facilities should promptly resume conventional practices. The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Burn Rate Calculator is a spreadsheet-based model that will help healthcare facilities plan and optimize the use of PPE for response to COVID-19. 

You asked... We answered regarding two fully vaccinated residents refusing to sit more than six feet apart

You asked:

If two fully vaccinated residents refuse to sit greater than 6 feet apart at a meal, can a facility ensure residents are educated on the risks and then care plan this education to be in compliance? The community has attempted numerous interventions/educations and this is an instance of residents taking a stand for their own rights; the community notes this isn’t a facility-wide issue, facility doesn't want it to escalate to an issue of a violation of facility policy.

We answered:

Ensure that documentation of the education is available. Implement other source control measures for those residents, i.e. they only eat together and not with other individuals. 

You asked... We answered regarding bringing a pet into a facility

You asked:

Can a family bring a pet into the facility, observing all previous guidelines?

We answered:

The order/CMS is silent on this. Pet visitation should be included in policies and procedures.

LeadingAge Need to Know: Fellowship Program for new CEOs and "Are You Ready to Go on a Journey" virtual study tour.

LeadingAge shares the latest coronavirus news and resources with members twice each weekday. This morning's Need to Know featured information on the Fellowship Program for new CEOs and "Are You Ready to Go on a Journey" virtual study tour.

Check out the full report here.


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Questions

Please send all questions to COVID19@leadingageohio.org. Additionally, members are encouraged to visit the LeadingAge Ohio COVID-19 Working Group facebook gro up 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.