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COVID-19 Update June 5, 2020

Posted By Leslie Roseboro, Wednesday, July 8, 2020


June 5, 2020


COVID-19 Update

We Need Your Photos and Videos!
LeadingAge North Carolina is collecting photos and videos from our members that illustrate your mission in action and the heroes of your community during this time of COVID-19. We are asking that members send in photos and/or videos to in a format that may be edited for us to share in our newsletters.

You Inspire Us (And Each Other)
We're gathering examples of the innovative solutions that LeadingAge members are deploying in the face of new challenges every day as a result of coronavirus. Read new stories now:

Managing Advance Directives During COVID
The North Carolina Secretary of State office has published a few amendments that make it easier to create and manage advance directives during this time of COVID 19. Click here for a look at the amendments.

Friendship Hotline for Well-Being Checks

A new hotline is available for those 60+ with disabilities which offers well-check phone calls on an on-going basis. Information about the hotline, called Friendship Line, can be found here.

HUD Issues Pandemic Hurricane Update
HUD’s Southwest Multifamily Region sent an update to housing providers about the impacts of COVID-19 on the 2020 hurricane season. In its update, HUD is asking providers to follow standard disaster guidance until further notice, and to continue reporting requirements in conjunction with federal COVID-19 directives. HUD has also asked communities to be mindful of disruptions in disaster response services due to the pandemic. The CDC and FEMA have also provided webinars and resources related to resident messaging and emergency response during the pandemic. A summary can be found here.

CMS Releases COVID-19 Data on Nursing Home Compare
Yesterday, CMS posted the first set of underlying COVID-19 nursing home data. In mid-April, CMS announced the requirement that nursing homes inform residents, their families, and their representatives of COVID-19 cases in their facilities. In addition to this, nursing homes are required to report COVID-19 cases and deaths directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CMS is now making this data publicly available. As part of yesterday’s announcement CMS is also posting the results from the targeted inspections announced in early March.

The data released yesterday shows that as of May 31, about 13,600 nursing homes – approximately 88 percent of the 15,400 Medicare and Medicaid nursing homes – had reported the required data to the CDC. These facilities reported over 95,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and almost 32,000 deaths. The next set of data will be updated in two weeks. Going forward after that date, CMS plans to update the data weekly.

Nursing Home Compare information at the facility level appears unchanged. Many providers were fearful of a COVID-19 designation, much like the red hand icon for facilities with abuse citations on their last survey. No designation is apparent.

Facility specific data is available through a COVID-19 Nursing Home Data Set. The information is presented in the same manner as other CMS Public Use Files which CMS uses to aggregate and sort publicly available data. On the data, CMS did note that the information was preliminary and may be subject to changes as providers are able to submit corrected data. The data contains reporting for two weeks. The first week, the week ending May 24th, contains cumulative data from January 1st, 2020. The second week of data shows increases that happened from May 24th through May 31st.

Letter Urging HUD to Distribute CARES Funds
Yesterday, LeadingAge sent a letter to HUD Secretary Carson urging him to distribute critically needed COVID-19 relief funds to Section 202 Housing for the Elderly and Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance senior housing providers. The funds were provided under the CARES Act; as the letter says, the time is long overdue for these providers to receive the emergency funding to pay for cleaning, disinfecting, personal protective equipment, services, security and other COVID-related costs.

Cleaning and Disinfecting in Affordable Housing
We continue to get a lot of questions from affordable housing members on cleaning and disinfection. We have a new article that summarizes HUD’s recommendations on this topic, which are mostly CDC and EPA guidance. HUD does have a new, and timely, two-pager on how HUD multifamily housing owners should dispose of medical waste. The article also links to the recording of a HUD disinfection webinar.

Provider Relief Fund Update
Yesterday, HHS confirmed in writing, that it is ONLY those who have NOT yet received a 2nd payment who need to attest and submit financial data as of yesterday, June 4th. This article from LeadingAge provides greater detail and clarity on this issue.

From the LeadingAge LTSS Center

The LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston is sharing research studies and research-based articles focusing on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting older adults and the people who care for them. Check out the brief summaries of the latest data and analysis, including these recently posted articles:

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 page updated. Be sure to bookmark these pages today!

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