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Today's COVID-19 Report: Monday, September 21, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Monday, September 21 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Trump Administration testing lead will speak directly to LeadingAge members on the LeadingAge Coronavirus Update Call today

Providers continue to have questions on testing, such as:

  • Should providers be using antigen testing for surveillance? 
  • What has been the PCR testing experience lately and are we headed towards shorter turnaround times? 
  • How long will providers have to wait for BD test kits?
  • If providers offer assisted living services and do not have a CLIA waiver, how can providers get Abbot BinaxNOW tests? 
  • Will home health providers or hospice providers receive Abbott cards?  

Today's LeadingAge Coronavirus Update Call at 3:30 PM features the Trump Administration's testing lead, Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, and will provide members a chance to hear answers to these and other questions related to testing. Members can register here.

CMS Nursing Home Stakeholder meeting set for today, September 21 from 2:00 – 2:30 PM

Providers are invited to join Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Chief Medical Officer, Lee Fleisher, MD and other CMS officials to discuss the recommendations of the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes and the Administration’s responses to it.  

Toll Free Dial-In Number: (833) 614-0820

Conference ID: 7883929

Conference lines are limited, so you are encouraged to join via webcast. 

Additional Links:

CMS Flowchart on payment for COVID-19 testing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a flowchart and assisting documents to help make sense of coverage for COVID-19 resident testing. The documents address Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and uninsured. CMS is also offering a cheat sheet on additional funding (CARES Act funding and Provider Relief Funds) and info on Medicare coding and billing.

CDC testing resource guide for nursing homes

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) created a testing resource guide, compiling links that nursing homes might find useful in navigating the ever-confusing world of COVID testing in nursing homes.

The guide features several links from CDC for conducting testing in nursing homes, a link to CMS info on CLIA reporting requirements, and a link to the FDA FAQs on testing, among many many others. 

Visitation Guidance

LeadingAge Ohio will be meeting with Administration officials tomorrow to elevate the many concerns created by QSO-20-39-NH, which standardizes nursing home visitation requirements nationwide. Portions of the memo directly conflict with Ohio’s Director’s Order on nursing home visitation, leaving Ohio nursing homes without a clear path forward.

For example, the order clearly outlines how indoor visitation should be permitted, while Ohio’s order currently prohibits indoor visitation. LeadingAge has provided a more detailed explanation of the revised CMS Visitor Guidance issued last week, while LeadingAge Ohio urges providers be measured in their response until the DeWine Administration provides more clarity. LeadingAge Ohio will include a summary of the meeting in its Wednesday COVID-19 daily report.

Quality Reporting Program Tip Sheets and Training and Education Resources

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the COVID-19 PR Tip Sheets are now available for the home health quality reporting program (HH QRP) and the hospice quality reporting program (HQRP).

The purpose of the tip sheets is to help providers understand CMS' public reporting strategy for the quality reporting programs to account for CMS quality data submissions that were optional and exempted from public reporting during Q4 of calendar year 2019 and Q1 and Q2 of 2020 due to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). The impact on CMS’ Compare website refreshes is also outlined.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) provided a full write up on the tip sheets.

Check your inbox for the LeadingAge Ohio member pulse survey

LeadingAge Ohio continues its commitment to support our membership during this very challenging time.  Our priority is enhancing the services and resources we provide throughout this pandemic and beyond.

A brief 'pulse' survey sent to members today will enable the LeadingAge Ohio board and staff to gain member feedback needed to stay nimble in advocacy efforts and stay on target with resource development.  

Please take a moment to complete the COVID-19 Member Pulse Survey. The survey is estimated to take less than 10 minutes and will remain open through Wednesday, September 30. 

Save the date!  Revised regulation on COVID-19 employee leave

On Tuesday, September 29 at 2:00 PM, LeadingAge will offer members an overview of the revised regulation clarifying workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act paid leave provisions.  During this virtual update, the following provisions of the revised regulation will be covered:

  • Changes to the definition of which employees may be exempted from the paid sick leave and FMLA leave. 
  • Considerations for when your employees must provide notice, what documentation is expected, and if employees can take leave on an intermittent basis.
  • Learn how to determine if an employee is “otherwise available to work”, which employees are considered a “health care provider” and which are eligible for paid leave.
  • Understand the records you must keep as an employer and how to be reimbursed for leave taken by your employees.

LeadingAge will share the registration link as soon as we have it; for now, please save the date.

LeadingAge Need to Know: COVID-19 – September 21, 2020

LeadingAge shares the latest coronavirus news and resources with members twice each weekday. This morning's update featured information about Wednesday's Day of Action and a reminder about the provider relief fund deadline today. 

Check out the full report here.

                Linkage                         Buerger


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 here.  

LeadingAge Ohio is working to ensure that the information in our daily alerts, on our website, and all coronavirus-related communications is as accurate as possible. However, LeadingAge Ohio makes no guarantees about the accuracy of the information. 

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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.