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COVID-19 Update May 15, 2020

Posted By Leslie Roseboro, Thursday, May 21, 2020


May 15, 2020

 

COVID-19 Update

 

Clarification from NC Department of Insurance on Semi-annual Meetings
We reached out to the North Carolina Department of Insurance with a question about the statutory requirement that CCRCs “hold semiannual meetings with the residents of each facility operated by the provider for free discussions of subjects including, but not limited to, income, expenditures, and financial trends and problems as they apply to the facility and discussions of proposed changes in policies, programs, and services.” The department replied that “given that there is no specific date that the meetings have to be held by, and the fact that we are only a little less than 2 months into this, we are going to wait before we do anything. We obviously will work with providers as things move along. We also would encourage any providers that have the ability to hold meetings virtually to do so, but also understand that may not be a good alternative since residents may not have the ability to participate in such a manner.” Please let us know if you have questions or contact Nancy Wise at the department.

Chief State Fire Marshal Provides Information on Inspections

One of our member communities contacted us with a question about inspections by local fire marshals. We reached out to the Chief State Fire Marshal, Brian Taylor, who indicated that fire officials are not going on site to do any type of inspections. He also said that, “some inspection jurisdictions are doing Live Remote (Facetime) Inspections with site maintenance personnel and emailing annual fire protection reports to Fire Marshal/Fire Official.” He also said that he has not 'heard of anybody doing inspections” and that they "would like to hear if anyone is.” Chief State Fire Marshal Taylor and his team are tremendously helpful and we would encourage you to reach out to them at brian.taylor@ncdoi.gov if you have any questions.

DHHS LTC Call

Yesterday’s long term care call with NC DHHS featured a number of helpful issues and commentary from departmental staff. A recording of the one-hour meeting can be found by clicking here, and the PowerPoint used in the meeting can be found by clicking here. And remember these resources that are updated on a daily basis:

  • Governor’s COVID-19 task force website specific to long term care facilities https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/covid19/long-term-care-facilities
  • Long term care facility toolkit https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/covid19/covid-19-guidance#long- term-care-facilities

NHSN enrollment
LeadingAge national had a good call with CDC yesterday to discuss issues we have been hearing around NHSN enrollment and reporting. CDC confirmed that the issues that we reported are consistent with the issues they have identified. Work-arounds are in progress for a few specific problems, one of which was identified by CDC only shortly before the scheduled call. We brainstormed a few ways to address some of the other issues and will be assisting CDC with some of these tasks. National received information on in-progress responses or suggested responses to the following main themes: confusion around CDC requests vs. CMS requirements, issues with SAMS registration, issues with completing enrollment, and issues with accessing the module once enrollment has been completed (or activating the module for previously-enrolled facilities). We also notified them of consistent themes for which members seem to be reaching out for assistance: group reporting and access for multi-site organizations, updating facility administrator and contacts, and updating login for those who were previously enrolled but have not accessed NHSN for a while. We will continue advocacy efforts with these two agencies and welcome feedback along the way.

Death, Grief, and Funerals in the Age of COVID-19
A few key thoughts on grief from LeadingAge national’s recent update call. These thoughts came from Karen Hartfield of Hospice of Western Reserve in Ohio.

  • Grief doesn't always show up the way we expect it to.
  • It is important that we acknowledge losses during this time and validate the varied grief reactions of those with whom we work.
  • Remember that if someone is acting in a way you are not accustomed to or that you do not understand, they may be experiencing a grief or trauma reaction.
  • It's OK if you don't quite understand it. Most important to validate and allow people to have space to experience their emotions.

The Virtual Funeral Collective banded together as part of a larger initiative called the Global COVID-19 Relief Coalition. The Global COVID-19 Relief Coalition is a 501c3 project of The Giving Back Fund bringing together world leading labs and organizations to provide solutions for the current COVID-19 pandemic. This White Paper contains a collection of resources and best practices from our collective to help you during this stressful time.

New QuickCast Available…Managing Mental Health: Considerations in COVID-19
In this 13-minute LeadingAge national QuickCast, Elizabeth Hale explains how the current global pandemic is affecting our mental health and emotional wellbeing—and ways we can manage it. Click here to register.

CDC Guidance on Memory Care
CDC released new guidance yesterday on COVID-19 considerations for memory care. We note that this information and guidance can be useful for work with all residents with cognitive impairments, regardless of the level of care or placement on a designated memory care unit. While much of this information is standard practice for working with those with cognitive impairments, one interesting recommendation is that CDC recommends that staff working on a memory care unit wear eye protection and N95 respirators at all times when on the unit to minimize risk of exposure from ill, wandering residents. CDC also recommends maintaining consistency in staff, activities, and environments as much as possible, including continuing to allow safe physical activity such as walking the unit or walks outdoors.

COVID-19 Symptoms: A Primer

According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 can have a wide range of symptoms — ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Learn more by clicking here.

Telehealth Video: Medicare Coverage and Payment of Virtual Services
CMS updated a video that answers common questions about the expanded Medicare telehealth services benefit during the COVID-19 public health emergency. New information includes how CMS adds services to the list of telehealth services, additional practitioners that can provide telehealth services, and the distant site services that Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) can provide. Further, the video includes information about audio-only telehealth services, telehealth services that hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies can provide, along with how to correctly bill for telehealth services.

Heroes Act
Yesterday, at the request of House leadership, LeadingAge national released a media statement on the Heroes Act. LeadingAge supports the proposed measure as a good start and seeks additional provisions in a final relief bill. In particular, the media statement highlights our requests for: (a) a $100 billion emergency fund specifically for aging services providers; (b) significant investments in PPE and testing for aging services providers; (c) a $1.2 billion investment in relief for HUD-assisted affordable housing; and (d) reimbursement for home health telehealth services. LeadingAge national posted this article on provisions of the proposal that would affect nursing homes.

Practical Tools for Staff Conversations
In an effort to help our leaders inspire and motivate their teams, here is today’s short tool:

A big part of our role in providing hope to those who live on our campuses is being realistic with expectations around when certain restrictions may be lifted. As you and others look forward to some limitations going away, what’s the one thing you look forward to doing?

COVID-19 Information Pages
In addition to these daily email updates, LeadingAge North Carolina is updating our COVID-19 resource page every day with information from trusted sources, including from our business members. Click here to view the entire page. Click here to view the section of the page that highlights business member expertise in areas such as investments, financing, human resources, and rehabilitation as those topics relate to COVID-19. In addition, LeadingAge national keeps their COVID-19 resource page updated. Be sure to bookmark these pages today!

 

LeadingAge North Carolina | 222 N. Person Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
919-571-8333 | info@leadingagenc.org | www.leadingagenc.org






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