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04/01/2020

Today's COVID-19 Report: Nurse Aide Certifications, Ventilator Reporting

Today's COVID-19 Alert:

Nurse Aide Certifications, Ventilator Reporting

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Wednesday, April 1 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

All-member Call - Tomorrow, Thursday, April 2, 10:30 a.m.

LeadingAge Ohio is holding an all-member COVID-19 update call tomorrow, Thursday, April 2 at 10:30 a.m. Call in registration is as follows:

Join the call online here

For best call quality, we encourage using your computer audio.

Dial in information:

Or iPhone one-tap :

US: +13126266799,,923055141#

Or Telephone:

US: +1 312 626 6799 

Webinar ID: 923 055 141

LeadingAge Ohio partner Link-age will be joining the call to provide an update on the PPE supply chain in Ohio. 

Lt. Governor Husted: "You are lifesavers."

Yesterday, Lieutenant Governor Husted shared an encouraging message to nursing homes after having met with nursing home stakeholders, including LeadingAge Ohio staff, earlier in the day.

The full statement can be viewed on Twitter. 

CMS Waives Aide Certification Requirements

Among the blanket waivers granted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday was one which waived nurse aide training and certification requirements for aides employed longer than 4 months by the facility.The waiver clarifies that nurse aides must still be trained and assessed for competency to perform nursing and nursing aide tasks.

LeadingAge Ohio is still awaiting clarification on what additional waivers the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) may need to grant so that nursing homes may begin to staff-up their direct care workforce in anticipation of the COVID-19 surge.

DeWine Announces Ventilator Inventory Reporting

Governor DeWine announced that beginning today, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is asking providers to report all ventilator and other respiratory devices that healthcare providers have in their inventory. The reporting seeks to identify unused equipment in healthcare providers affected by the limitations on elective surgeries, such as ambulatory surgical centers.

Reporting is due via Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/VentInventory on Wednesday each week by 5:00 p.m., beginning today. Ventilator and other respiratory devices include ventilators, CPAP, VPAP and BiPAP devices, and others. Exempted are those devices that are en-route to other sites, for example, to a provider location out of state, as well as any devices that are in personal use.

OMDA, LeadingAge Ohio ask for NF Admission Protocol

Yesterday, LeadingAge Ohio joined the Ohio Medical Directors’ Association (OMDA), the Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA) and the Academy for Senior Health Sciences (the Academy) in authoring a letter to the DeWine Administration encouraging them to develop a protocol around nursing home admissions from hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis.

Specifically, the protocol requested that the state of Ohio:

  • Encourage the development of COVID-19 isolation centers that address a wide variety of care needs. While it may be feasible to isolate lower-acuity individuals in centers set up within convention centers and dorms, it is preferable to care for them in existing nursing facilities dedicated to COVID-19 patients;
  • Explicitly reinforce nursing homes’ discretion in admitting or declining to admit COVID-19 positive individuals;
  • Require testing for individuals with respiratory symptoms before they may be discharged to a nursing facility; and
  • Once testing becomes more accessible, require testing prior to discharge to a long-term care setting, to further prevent transmission.

HB 197 Includes Nurse Licensing Changes

HB 197, Ohio's coronavirus relief bill which was signed by the Governor last week, includes changes for nursing licensure during the COVID-19 Emergency. Detailed information on these changes may be found on the Ohio Board of Nursing (OBN) website

Provisions in this bill include:

  • Extension of licenses due to expire during the COVID-19 Declared Emergency; and 
  • Licensing Authorization (RN and LPN Initial Licensing) which declares: “The law suspends, for the period of the COVID-19 emergency, the law requiring an applicant for licensure by examination to have passed the national standardized licensure examination approved by the OBN."

This law will potentially place 4,000 to 5,000 additional healthcare providers in the workforce. In order to issue the temporary licenses, the law requires that the Board of Nursing receive documentation from nursing programs that the applicant has successfully completed the program. This is to assure that the applicants, although they have not passed the national examination, have obtained the necessary education to engage in safe nursing practice and to prevent imposters from obtaining licenses. In addition, as another public protection measure, criminal records checks will continue to be required. 

This site also offers additional information regarding licensing and nursing practice since Governor DeWine issued the Executive Order 2020-01D declaring a state of emergency in Ohio:

  • OBN statement regarding the mobility of nurses. Ohio law authorizes nursing practice in emergencies without an Ohio nursing license and the Board is expediting the issuance of temporary permits and all license types.
  • RN and LPN Nursing Practice in the COVID-19 Health Care Environment. Nurses will likely be reassigned to unfamiliar clinical areas, types of patients or conditions, and/or equipment. This document is to provide guidance about the standards of practice for RNs and LPNs.
  • APRNs DEA Guidance on Oral CII Prescriptions

ODH Receives All Allocated PPE from the Strategic National Stockpile

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) announced yesterday that they requested early and have received Ohio's shipment of PPE from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). ODH expressed the desire that healthcare providers, Emergency Medical Services, law enforcement, and long-term care workers receive the equipment they need to protect themselves and those they serve.

All shipments have been received by ODH and are being sent to county locations to ensure local PPE needs are met.

The total numbers from the SNS for Ohio are as follows:

  • Gowns 107,670 
  • Coveralls  552
  • Gloves 493,575
  • Face Shields 131,808
  • Surgical Masks 672,100
  • N95 Masks 271,450

As before, LeadingAge Ohio members should reach out to their local Emergency Management Agency in order to indicate PPE needs. These needs will be routed up to the state emergency management center for distribution of materials.  

We understand that our members need PPE in order to be compliant with the order to have all staff wearing PPE; the attached documents provide the just-released ODH information regarding the order, PPE strategies, and PPE conservation.

Ohio Statistics: 2,199 Cases, 55 Deaths

Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton provided updated numbers for Ohio yesterday. There are now 2,199 confirmed cases, 198 ICU admissions, 585 hospitalizations, and 55 deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard. 

Dr. Acton also shared her perspective on universal mask policy, stating that homemade masks may be helpful for Ohioans to wear anytime they are out in the community, not so much to protect themselves as to protect others, given that we know that may Ohioans may be infected but asymptomatic.  

LeadingAge Knowledge Center

The LeadingAge Knowledge Center continues to add new, timely content to help members navigate the COVID-19 crisis. LeadingAge members can access these and other resources for free using the code: Community through April 30.  

Questions

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.

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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.