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Member Update August 14, 2020

Posted By Leslie Roseboro, Tuesday, October 6, 2020
August 14, 2020

Advocacy & Policy  |  Strategic Thinking  |  News & Notes
2020 Fall Conference  |


Latest Information on Required Bi-Weekly Staff Testing
Earlier this week, NC DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen issued an order requiring mandatory testing for staff in skilled nursing facilities. At this point, the first reporting deadline is set for September 8, reflecting testing activity on or after August 17. While many details remain to be finalized, the state will reimburse facilities for the cost of testing. The state is not requiring a specific lab; rather, facilities will be reimbursed for the testing costs charged by whatever lab they contract with. The state plans on paying for testing through November, with reimbursement scheduled to go to facilities in September, October, and November.

DHHS is in the process of creating a web-based reporting tool (LeadingAge North Carolina is providing two of our member communities for beta testing of the tool…we are working in collaboration with the North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association which is also providing two beta testers). Reporting will be summary level with no individual information being required.

DHHS will be hosting a two-part webinar series to provide additional information about the testing, reporting requirements, and related reimbursement opportunities. You are strongly encouraged to attend BOTH sessions. The first session will be held on Monday, August 17 and the second session will be held on Friday, August 21…both sessions will begin at 3:30 pm and last for one hour. To register for both webinars, please click here.


Important Information on Absentee Ballots by Mail
On June 12, 2020, the General Assembly passed HB1169, “The Bipartisan Elections Act of 2020, “which changes how NC voters vote their absentee ballots by mail. Detailed information is available by clicking here. A copy of the Absentee Ballot Request Form can be found by clicking here.

Who can assist a voter in completing this Request Form?

  • All voters are entitled to assistance from a near relative or verifiable legal guardian.
  • If a voter is blind, disabled or unable to read or write and needs assistance in completing the Absentee Ballot Request Form (and a near relative is not available), they may request some other person to give assistance. That person’s name and address must be listed under Part 2 of the request form.
  • If a voter is a patient in a facility (hospital, clinic, nursing home, rest home), a member of a Multipartisan Assistance Team (MAT) authorized by the county board of elections can assist the voter in completing the request form. No owner, manager, director, or employee can request an absentee ballot on behalf of the voter.

Follow these 5 Steps to Vote by Mail

  1. Complete the Absentee Ballot Request Form
  2. Return the Request Form to your County Board of Elections. Return it in person, by email, fax or US Postal Service. The form must be received by Tuesday, October 27, 2020 by 5:00 p.m. Note: You will not receive a confirmation mailing if your application is accepted. However, you will hear back if your application needs to be corrected or is rejected.
  3. Your County Board of Elections will mail absentee ballots the first week of September to registered voters who have completed the Absentee Ballot Request Form. The package will include an Absentee Ballot, a return envelope with a certificate statement on it and an instruction sheet.
  4. Mark your ballot with your choices in the presence of one witness who is at least 18 years of age and is not a candidate for the election. The voter and the witness must each complete and sign the certificate on the return envelope and provide their addresses. Note: Employees of a facility may not serve as a witness for voters in a facility.
  5. Return the ballot in the return envelope by mail or deliver it in person to your County Board of Elections. If returning by mail, it must be postmarked by 5:00 pm on Election Day. You may not turn it in at an Early Voting site or an Election Day precinct.

For a complete listing of County Boards of Elections, please click here.


PBJ Staffing Data Submissions Due
Nursing home providers must resume submission of payroll-based journal (PBJ) staffing data by the end of this week. While an 1135 federal blanket waiver related to the COVID-19 public health emergency had previously suspended these data submissions, this waiver was terminated by CMS effective June 25. Nursing home providers must submit PBJ data for the second quarter of calendar year 2020, April – June, by today: Friday, August 14. CMS is also encouraging providers to submit PBJ data for the first calendar quarter of 2020, though this data is not required.

PBJ data filed for calendar quarter 1, when the waiver was in effect, can be accessed here. Calendar quarter 2 staffing data will be available on Nursing Home Compare, and subsequently calculated in the staffing domain of the Five-Star Quality Rating System, with the next regularly scheduled update for this domain in October 2020. More information on the termination of this waiver and the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency on the five-star rating system are available here.

Update on Provider Relief Funds
Our friends at Ziegler have been providing great information to member communities and recently shared additional detail on Provider Relief Funds. On Aug. 7, HHS announced that $5 billion in funding will be distributed in two waves. The first wave will provide approximately $2.5 billion to support increased testing, staffing and PPE needs, as well as provide funding for establishing COVID-19 isolation facilities. The balance of the $5 billion will be distributed in a second wave based on the nursing home’s performance in controlling COVID-19. Unlike prior Provider Relief Fund distributions, this second wave will be based on factors such as the nursing home’s ability to minimize COVID-19 spread and COVID-19-related fatalities among its residents in light of the prevalence of the virus in the nursing home’s local geography. HHS announced that the initial $2.5 billion distribution to nursing homes and long-term care facilities will occur in mid-August 2020, and the performance-based distributions will occur throughout the fall of 2020. Click here for a link to the complete HHS press release.  Ziegler will be holding a webinar on this subject for CFOs and finance professionals in conjunction with LeadingAge Virginia on Monday, August 17 at 11 am. Click here to join the meeting.


NC Legislative Oversight Committee Considers COVID-19 Issues

The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services and the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice both met Tuesday. The agenda for the JOC on Health and Human Services focused on a COVID-19 update, DHHS COVID-19 funds, and the impact of COVID-19 on children. Handouts from the meeting can be found here. The agenda for the JOC on Medicaid and NC Health Choice centered around Medicaid transformation, enrollment in Medicaid and NC Health Choice, and a financial update on the program. The agenda and handouts from this meeting can be found here.

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Why Do Boards Have So Few Black Directors?
Despite the growing body of evidence of these advantages and the proliferation of company-sponsored diversity initiatives, the advancement of Black professionals up the corporate ladder has been painfully slow and may even be reversing. This thought-provoking article provides food for thought and action steps. (Harvard Business Review, August 13, 2020)

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Inspiration from LeadingAge National Board Chair, Carol Silver Elliott
Carol Silver Elliott, board chair for LeadingAge national, recently penned her thoughts on endurance…words of wisdom worth reading!

Like others of you, my organization was hit hard by COVID-19. The nightmare we had hoped to avoid became reality and we fought our way through it. We battled to save our elders and, to do so, also battled to save our staff, acquire PPE, acquire testing, and so much more. There was a period of about two endless months when we wondered if we would ever see light again.

The good news for us, and I know for some of you as well, is that we have stabilized. Our buildings are COVID-free, or perhaps close to that. Staff has recovered and we have been able to acquire adequate PPE and, for the most part, adequate testing.

The bad news is that this is not over. We have not reached the endpoint or crossed the finish line. This is not our new normal. It is not pre-COVID, it is not (for some of us) in the midst of COVID but the enemy has not been defeated. This we all know.

As I’ve thought about this, I’ve thought that we will win this war through endurance, we will win it with our long-game and being as alert and vigilant now as we were at the beginning. And that’s not easy. I know that many of us are just plain tired. We are tired of being anxious about the impact of this virus. We are tired of struggling to do everything we need to do to help our elders. We are tired of keeping our elders isolated and away from friends and family. We are tired of worrying about the future of our organizations and how we will survive. It’s not one thing, it is everything.

Endurance is key to our success, both as it applies to our emotional stamina as well as our physical endurance. We don’t have to be pillars of strength at every moment and we must give ourselves some breathing room when we need it. But when we come back to our organizations, come back to lead, we have to remember that we are in this for the long-haul and that we are in it together. We are, as I like to say, in it to win it for our elders and for our future. Stay strong.


Carolinas Planned Giving Conference Set for Early September

The North Carolina Council of Charitable Gift Planners and the South Carolina Planned Giving Council will host a virtual two-day conference on September 2nd and 3rd. The councils have put together a quality continuing education opportunity for development professionals to expand their planned giving knowledge, learn new skills they can apply in their organizations, and network with peers and industry leaders. A group rate for organizations will be offered so you can encourage team members to join and grow, as you work together in your gift planning efforts. Continuing education will be offered for CFRE, CTFA, CFP, CLE, and CPE credit where applicable. Click here for more information.


Compassionate Touch Program Continues its Work in North Carolina
The AGE-u-cate Training Institute is launching the second year of Compassionate Touch training through the CMP Grant Program. The Compassionate Touch® program will help 66 North Carolina certified nursing homes improve the care provided to residents with dementia by incorporating the Compassionate Touch® techniques into their day-to-day care practices. Click here for more information about the program.

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We are looking forward to seeing you virtually at our 2020 Fall Conference. Be sure to register today…the first 100 provider registrants will receive a conference thank you kit compliments of our sponsors! We are partnering with LeadingAge national to host our conference on a platform that will provide an optimal experience for attendees and sponsors. Sessions will focus on leadership, workforce, spiritual and physical well-being, clinical support and adult day services.

This is no ordinary webinar or Zoom meeting...here is why you should attend:

  • Need CEUS for your Nursing Home Administrator License? Up to 5.0 hours of in-person continuing education credits are available.
  • Learn from forward thinking and nationally recognized industry experts and thought leaders on a variety of topics related to the field of aging.
  • Connect with senior living professionals in networking and sponsor areas via text and video chat.
  • Learn about products, services, and resources provided by business member sponsors who are experts in their respective fields
  • Depart with takeaways that can be implemented by you and your community.
  • Convenience and flexibility from the comfort of your own office, home or location of your choice.
  • Extreme value – No travel expense and lowered registration fee.

Click here to download the conference brochure.

We encourage you to join us on Thursday, September 24 at the LeadingAge North Carolina Fall Virtual Conference – Click here for more information.

 

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LeadingAge North Carolina
222 N. Person Street Suite 205 | Raleigh, NC  27601
Ph. 919.571.8333 | Fax 919.869.1811 | www.LeadingAgeNC.org



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