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Today's COVID-19 Report: Monday, June 22, 2020

Monday, June 22, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Monday, June 22 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tomorrow: State Holds Webinar on Nursing Home Testing

LeadingAge Ohio members are invited to join the Governor's Office, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM), and members of the Congregate Care Unified Response Team (CCURT) to hear updates from the State team regarding testing in nursing homes, to learn about ODH's recently released Guidelines and guidance documents for testing in nursing homes, as well as other regulatory updates from the ODH.

The webinar's target audience is nursing facility administrators, local health departments, hospitals, provider associations, and other health care stakeholders. ODM requests that only one or two individuals from each unique organization / facility join the webinar to ensure all interested parties have an opportunity to participate. The webinar will be recorded and posted for later viewing.

DeWine Administration Webinar on Nursing Home Testing
10:00-11:30 am on Tuesday June 23
Please register for the webinar here:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The webinar will require attendees to listen through their computer audio, so calling in from a phone will not be an option.

Medicare to Cover Nursing Home Resident Testing

In a June 19 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) memo, CMS instructed Medicare Administrative Contractors to cover laboratory tests to detect active SARSCoV-2 infections in nursing home residents, including asymptomatic residents. This would take effect starting on July 6. 

Residents are not to be billed for co-payments, deductibles, or co-insurance for clinical lab tests to detect or diagnose COVID-19. This guidance follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent update of COVID-19 testing guidelines for nursing homes. This testing can be part of a reopening strategy. Testing that will be covered is outlined in the MLN Matters SE20011 Revised document.

Coverage will include:

  • Diagnostic COVID-19 lab tests and non-cover tests not considered diagnostic
  • Viral Testing of Residents for SARS-CoV-2
  • Initial Viral Testing in Response to an Outbreak
  • Recommended testing to determine resolution of infection with SARS-CoV-2
  • Public health surveillance for SARS-CoV-2.

Tests that are considered non-diagnostic are not covered. Additional information about Medicare coverage of COVID-19 tests is available on the Medicare Coverage webpage.

MITRE Names Two Ohioans to Independent Commission

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the list of the 25 members of the independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes has been released by the MITRE Corporation. Dr. Jay J. Schnitzer, MITRE’s chief medical and technology officer, will serve as moderator of the commission.

“This diverse group will act quickly to identify and communicate best practices for protecting nursing home residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” said Dr. Schnitzer.

LeadingAge Ohio congratulates Dallas Taylor, director of nursing for the Eliza Bryant Village, for her appointment to the commission. Dallas is a graduate of the LeadingAge Ohio Leadership Academy and has been actively involved in the LeadingAge Ohio Regional Director of Nursing network meetings and has long been an advocate for post-acute care. Ohio is also represented by Beverley L. Laubert, MA; State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, who was also selected to the commission. The Independent Commission is part of CMS’ five-part strategy to ensure nursing home quality.

Join LeadingAge's National Day of Action Tomorrow

LeadingAge's Act For Older Adults campaign wants to rally Americans to urge Congress to enact legislation to deliver crucial resources to older adults and aging services providers.

LeadingAge sent a letter to Congress filled with asks on behalf of providers. While LeadingAge is maintaining social distancing throughout this campaign, the goal is for Congress to hear a virtual army banging on their doors tomorrow, June 23, the National Day of Action for Older Adults.

Here are some ways for members to join the fight:

  1. Call or email your member of Congress. A new action alert will come out Tuesday via email and at!
  2. Release a media statement to the state and local press to share campaign details and mark the day of action (LeadingAge's campaign announcement can be a starting point for each organization's individual statement). 
  3. Hold a virtual press event for the state and local media (contact LeadingAge's Amanda Marr if you want national LeadingAge staff to join the event.)
  4. Customize and submit an op-ed the state and local press to elevate campaign messages.
  5. Reach out to state and local media editorial boards to encourage them to write about the critical importance of supporting older adults.
  6. Call your state and local reporters on Monday to give them advance notice of the National Day of Action and encourage them to cover it Tuesday.
  7. Record short videos of you and your staff urging people to Act For Older Adults and/or making calls to Congress. Post the videos on your social media accounts (don’t forget the hashtag #Act4OlderAdults).
  8. Update your social media accounts with Act For Older Adults campaign creative, pin posts to the top of your feeds, and share the campaign video.
  9. Encourage your staff to contact Congress themselves and to spread the word about the Act For Older Adults campaign with their friends and families on social media.

The June 23 National Day of Action for Older Adults is only the beginning: plan activities throughout the next several weeks. LeadingAge asks that member use the hashtag #Act4OlderAdults and tag @LeadingAge on posts. 


LeadingAge Need to Know: COVID-19 – June 22, 2020

LeadingAge shares the latest coronavirus news and resources with members twice each weekday. This morning's update featured information about the National Day of Action for Older Adults and the LeadingAge Leadership Academy.

Check out the full report here. 


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Please send all questions to Additionally, members are encouraged to visit the LeadingAge Ohio COVID-19 Working Group facebook group 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 at here.  


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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.