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11/30/2020

Today's COVID-19 Report: Monday, November 30, 2020

Monday, November 30, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Monday, November 30 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Today's Report

  • LeadingAge Ohio member to join Governor in 3:00PM press conference today
  • COVID-19 testing - 4th reporting period begins today and ends December 2
  • Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018 Medicaid Overpayment Reports:  December 10 deadline for response
  • CMS begins work to restart annual surveys
  • BWC, ODA to provide $30 million in CARES Act Funding for HVAC improvements
  • No-cost rides to access much needed food resources
  • Free cyber security and compliance webinar: December 3
  • LeadingAge Need to Know

LeadingAge Ohio member to join Governor in 3:00PM press conference today

A staff member from LeadingAge Ohio member Genacross Lutheran Services in Toledo will join Governor Mike DeWine today during a press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic. Carrie Watkins, assistant director of nursing at Genacross’ Wolf Creek campus in Holland, Ohio, will speak with Governor DeWine on the effect of the pandemic in long-term care settings, and will share personal stories and experiences. Tune in on the Ohio Channel at 3:00PM.

COVID-19 testing - 4th reporting period begins today and ends December 2

In accordance with the Director's Order for the Testing of the Residents and Staff of all Residential Care Facilities and the Amended Director’s Order on the Opening of Adult Day Care Services and Senior Centers (effective October 17), facilities will verify compliance of the applicable Order by submitting a reporting tool following each bi-weekly testing cycle.

Regardless of what testing program a facility chooses to use, all facilities (Residential Care Facilities, Adult Day Centers, and Senior Centers) are required to complete the reporting toolThe reporting tool will be available one week following each bi-weekly test cycle and will remain available for a period of three full business days (Monday through Wednesday). 

The fourth reporting period begins today, Monday, November 30 and extends through Wednesday, December 2. This reporting period captures testing efforts conducted November 9 - November 22.

Facilities should ensure they have readily available details about the tests performed and test results in order to complete the reporting tool.  The reporting tool must be completed in one session and should be submitted by each facility once during a reporting period. Facilities should submit only one report during this reporting period. All questions in the reporting tool must be fully and accurately answered.

Immediately following submission, survey respondents will receive the following message confirming that the online reporting tool was successfully received:

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In accordance with state-issued guidance, regardless of a facility’s opening and/or activity status, all facilities are required to complete the online reporting tool. Facilities that have not yet reopened, or are temporarily closed, will be able to indicate closure status within the reporting tool.

Questions related to the reporting tool can be submitted to COVIDTesting@age.ohio.gov.

Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018 Medicaid Overpayment Reports:  December 10 deadline for response

It has been more than 30 days since ODM emailed its last overpayment reports to active providers for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. Long Term Care providers (ICFs/NFs) are required to advise ODM within 30 days as to whether they want to work with ODM to resolve findings on the overpayment reports or agree to the amount on the initial mailing. ODM understands that providers are dealing with multiple issues, but ODM has asked LeadingAge Ohio to reach out to members to encourage follow-up as it has no record of receiving a response from 172 NF providers. NF providers can request to work with ODM on their overpayment reports or can agree with the amount owed by sending in a completed and signed Initial Post-Payment Claims Overpayment Review and Response Form and requesting a bureau-level resolution process or reconsideration by the Medicaid Director or by indicating agreement with the amount owed. The Initial Post-Payment Claims Overpayment Review and Response Form was included in ODM’s initial emailing to the providers.

LeadingAge Ohio members are urged to send in the applicable completed and signed forms to LTCAudits@medicaid.ohio.gov no later than December 10, 2020. This will not only decrease the future number of certified mailings required it will also reduce vendor offset due to unresponsiveness.

CMS begins work to restart annual surveys

During the LeadingAge conference Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) session on November 19, Evan Shulman stated the annual Long-Term Care Survey Process (LTCSP) is in process to be restarted but did not provide an anticipated date of start. On November 25, CMS updated the LTCSP documents to incorporate the focused infection control survey elements.

The following Survey Resources Folder documents have been updated:

  1. CMS-802
  2. CMS-20054 Infection Prevention Control and Immunization
  3. Entrance Conference Form
  4. RI care areas and probes
  5. RO care areas and probes
  6. RR care areas and probes
  7. RRI care areas and probes
  8. LTCSP Mapping document
  9. LTCSP Procedure Guide.

These documents can be found on the CMS Nursing Home webpage under the download sections and within the surveyor resources zip file.

The changes to the LTCSP are as follows:

  • Surveyors are to review CDC, state/local public health information, if available, to be aware of the COVID-19 status of the facility.
  • Ensure a surveyor(s) is assigned to and stays exclusively in the area of the facility that is used for cohorting COVID-19 positive or suspected positive residents.
  • For resident selection: Two residents who are on Transmission-Based Precautions (suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and for any reason other than COVID-19) should be included in the initial pool for the team if available.
  • Initial pool activity is to be completed within eight to ten hours.
  • If dining rooms are not being used during the PHE, determine whether residents are receiving assistance and ensure room trays are reviewed.
  • If a surveyor is restricted to a specific area of the building (e.g., because of cohorting), the surveyor should not be physically present with any team member. The surveyor should meet virtually or by telephone (on his/her own) with the team throughout the survey. In that case, the team will have to retrieve that surveyor’s data securely (e.g., through email).
  • The infection control review will include:
    • Sample three staff, include at least one staff member who was confirmed COVID-19 positive or had signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (if this has occurred in the facility), for purposes of determining compliance with infection prevention and control national standards such as exclusion from work, as well as screening, testing, and reporting.
    • Sample three residents for purposes of determining compliance with infection prevention and control national standards such as transmission-based precautions (TBP), as well as resident care, screening, testing, and reporting.
      • Include at least one resident who was confirmed COVID-19 positive or had signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (if any).
      • Include at least one resident on transmission-based precautions (if any), and for any reason other than COVID-19.
    • Sample five residents for influenza and pneumococcal immunizations.
  • During the PHE, for residents who participate in the Resident Council interview and are not on transmission-based precautions (TBP), it is important for everyone including the assigned surveyor to wear a face covering/mask as appropriate, maintain social distancing and perform hand hygiene at all times.
  • If citing for noncompliance related to COVID-19, include the following language at the beginning of the Deficient Practice Statement or other place determined appropriate on the Form CMS-2567: “Based on [observations/interviews/record review], the facility failed to [properly prevent and/or contain – or other appropriate statement] COVID-19.”
  • During the PHE, the exit conference may be done by phone or through a virtual meeting if all invited parties agree.

The initial pool care area documents have been modified to pull the transmission-based precaution questions into their own section within the resident interview, resident representative interview, and observation initial pool care areas. LeadingAge Ohio encourages provides to revisit these tools and incorporate the questions and observations into the facilities ongoing auditing process.

BWC, ODA to provide $30 million in CARES Act Funding for HVAC improvements

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is establishing a $30 million assistance program for indoor air quality improvements at long-term care facilities, following Controlling Board approval last week and the BWC board’s vote to add the appropriated CARES Act funding to the agency budget.

The program is funded through $28 million administered by BWC and $2 million from the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA), and each qualified recipient is eligible for up to $15,000 to improve heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Program applicants can include nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adult day care facilities.

BWC Administrator/CEO John Logue told the board that staff are working to open the application process as early as Wednesday afternoon, and that facilities can apply starting Friday if that is not achieved. BWC will be marketing the program and will reach out to trade groups in the skilled nursing industry, he said.

BWC Chief Financial Officer Kevin Giangola said they focused the program on those most at risk and that agency leaders will attempt to cover related administrative costs using existing state funds rather than the federal money. (The Hannah Report, November 25)

No-cost rides to access much needed food resources

As Ohio continues to grapple with the COVID-19 crisis, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) is working hard to ensure the most vulnerable citizens maintain reliable access to food resources.

Ohio’s five Medicaid Managed Care Plans (Buckeye Health Plan, CareSource, Molina Healthcare, Paramount Advantage, and United Heathcare Community Plan) provide their members with no-cost transportation services to and from food banks, food pantries, food clinics, and grocery stores as part of their plan benefit.

Transportation services are essential to many of those served by LeadingAge Ohio members. ODM has asked LeadingAge Ohio to help get the word out about these services, encouraging Medicaid covered individuals to contact their respective health plan to get the transportation services they need.

By undertaking this united effort on behalf of every Medicaid Managed Care Plan members, ODM can help get food on the table during this unprecedented health crisis.

Free cyber security and compliance webinar: December 3

LeadingAge Ohio associate firm, BlueOrange Compliance, is making it a priority to create engaging and informative educational webinars. The goal of this session is to better equip LeadingAge Ohio members with security best practices that can translate to a more secure organization.

Please join BlueOrange Compliance for their upcoming webinar on December 3 at 1:00PM on Mitigating the Password Spray Threat: Stopping Modern Hacks. Password Spraying is a variant of what is known as a brute force attack. Certified Ethical Hackers of BlueOrange will demonstrate a password spray, showing viewers exactly how it works and what goes into this style of hack. A Security Network Engineer will talk about how to implement password security in an active directory environment to limit the effectiveness of such an attack. It is a fantastic opportunity for LeadingAge Ohio members to learn a few steps that can be taken to harden their environment and make you less susceptible.

LeadingAge Need to Know: COVID-19 – November 30, 2020

LeadingAge shares the latest coronavirus news and resources with members twice each weekday. This morning's update featured an introduction video to the new Pandemic Playbook and also a reminder about the upcoming Provider Relief Funds Reporting Requirements webinar scheduled for Wednesday, December 2.

Check out the full report here.


                Linkage                         Buerger


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. 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.