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12/14/2020

Today's COVID-19 Report: Monday, December 14, 2020

Monday, December 14, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Monday, December 14 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Today's Report

  • COVID-19 testing - Online reporting tool now OPEN for assisted living, adult day
  • CDC releases important vaccine information for LeadingAge Ohio members
  • ODH releases COVID-19 vaccination update
  • ODH surveyor experience: Feedback request
  • ODH First Quarter Quality Report released
  • Method to collect target population/occupation 
  • Do you know about the LeadingAge Pandemic Playbook?
  • Have you listened to The Mentor's Voice?
  • LeadingAge Need to Know

COVID-19 testing - Online reporting tool now OPEN for assisted living, adult day

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, facilities must 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 fifth reporting period begins today, Monday, December 14 and extends through Wednesday, December 16. This reporting period captures testing efforts conducted between November 23 and December 6.

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.

CDC releases important vaccine information for LeadingAge Ohio members

The CDC has held two consecutive days of calls to provide information on the EUA-approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the anticipated Moderna vaccine. Notes from yesterday’s call (directed to healthcare providers) have been summarized for LeadingAge Ohio members. A key question from yesterday’s discussion included:

Does this vaccine protect against transmission? This vaccine was evaluated to see if it protected individuals from the virus itself. It does not provide information about transmission of the virus to others. This is the reason we will continue to have guidance, washing hands, social distancing, even after vaccination.

Today’s CDC call was a Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Webinar. This webinar addressed considerations for scheduling staff vaccinations and scheduling staff who may have symptoms following their vaccination. Key background points from today’s call included:

Are infection control procedures required after staff and residents have been vaccinated? Residents and healthcare personnel (HCP) should continue to follow all current CDC infection prevention and control recommendations to protect themselves and others from SARS-CoV-2 infection, regardless of their vaccination status.

Will staff and residents who are vaccinated test positive for COVID-19? Positive viral (nucleic acid or antigen) tests for SARS-CoV-2, if performed, should not be attributed to the COVID-19 vaccine, as vaccination does not influence the results of these tests.

As a reminder, facilities that have not received a communication from the Pharmacy Partnership’s pharmacy to which they have been assigned (CVS, Walgreens, PharmScript or Absolute) should email Haylee Dunahay, Director of Coalitions at Office of Ohio Governor Mike Dewine, immediately at Haylee.Dunahay@Governor.ohio.gov.

ODH releases COVID-19 vaccination update

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has provided LeadingAge Ohio with the following update from the Ohio Vaccine Preparedness Office. Included is information on the first vaccines arriving this week, new and updated resources, and talking points to use when discussing the vaccine.

Ohio has expanded the trainings available to vaccine providers, with many resources available for storage and handling, vaccine administration, manufacturer information, and more. These trainings can be accessed from the Provider Training section of the COVID-19 Vaccine Provider website.

ODH surveyor experience: Feedback request

Providers are experiencing an increased frequency of Ohio Department of Health (ODH) surveys due to outbreaks and complaint surveys. A survey may not be avoided if it follows the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) survey priorities as outlined in QSO-20-31-ALL. However, providers should be able to rely on surveyors that behave professionally and are well-trained on survey procedure and requirements.

Some of the survey challenges LeadingAge Ohio has heard from members include:

  • Surveyors not following CMS survey protocols;
  • Lack of surveyor knowledge on current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance;
  • Hostile attitudes;
  • Surveyors “proving” themselves when training another surveyor;
  • General lack of professionalism.

ODH has been responsive in the past when they have had a system-wide problem or specific issues with a single surveyor.

If you had an experience similar to what is described above, LeadingAge Ohio needs to hear from you. The challenges you are facing with the pandemic are great; dealing with “rogue” surveyors should not be one of them. LeadingAge Ohio can address these problems while protecting your organization’s identity.

Meanwhile, below is an outline of the current CMS triggers for the survey priorities. 

  1. Perform on-site surveys (within 30 days of this memo) of nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks, defined as:
    • Cumulative confirmed cases/bed capacity at 10% or greater; or
    • Cumulative confirmed plus suspected cases/bed capacity at 20% or greater; or
    • Ten or more deaths reported due to COVID-19.

  2. Perform on-site surveys (within three to five days of identification) of any nursing home with 3 or more new COVID-19 suspected and confirmed cases in the since the last National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) COVID-19 report, or 1 confirmed resident case in a facility that was previously COVID-free.

  3. Starting in FY 2021, perform annual Focused Infection Control surveys of 20 percent of nursing homes based on State discretion or additional data that identifies facility and community risks.

  4. Complaint calls resulting in immediate jeopardy priority or non-immediate jeopardy – high priority which falls in the 10-day complaint timeframe.

CMS is evaluating a different approach to survey priorities going forward due to increased cadence of surveys.

Please email Stephanie DeWees at sdewees@leadingageohio.org if you have had an experience to share. Please also reach out during the survey if you are potentially getting cited by a surveyor that is not up to date on current CDC guidance. Stephanie can be reached by email or calling her direct line at 614-545-9034.

ODH First Quarter Quality Report released

Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has released the first quarter quality report for 2020. Overall the data show the decrease in the number of surveys across all provider types as the pandemic began affecting the frequency of surveys in 2020. There was an increase in staffing citations associated with F725, 726, and 727 F-tags. For CY 2020, ODH received 1,556 complaints and 279 were substantiated (17.93%). This is an increase from the fourth quarter which had a total of 1,269 complaints. Residential Care Facilities also had an increase in the number of complaint surveys from 93 in fourth quarter to 122 in the first quarter of 2020. Additional details on top citations, harm, and self-reported incidents can be found in the Ohio Department of Health First Quarter Quality Report.

Method to collect target population/occupation

As Ohio prepares to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, it is critical the state has a process to collect data around the number of vaccine recipients from each target population or occupation. Providers will need to collect that target population/occupation data using a paper checklist and then manually add the information in ImpactSIIS within 24 hours through web entry or a new secure data file upload process. More details are available here.

Do you know about the LeadingAge Pandemic Playbook?

LeadingAge knows that this year has challenged the operations, finances, creativity, and nimbleness of aging services providers. That’s why LeadingAge is proud to present this interactive collection of insight, wisdom, and critical lessons LeadingAge members have learned about serving older adults during a catastrophic health crisis. The Pandemic Playbook will help ensure that providers can prepare for and mitigate the impact of a future pandemic.

This resource contains a variety of topics and chapters, from Financial Impacts and Strategies, to Workforce Management and Support. Below is a snapshot of all the items available in the Pandemic Playbook:

Pandemic Playbook

The Pandemic Playbook is a free resource to all LeadingAge members.

Have you listened to The Mentor's Voice?

Have you listened to LeadingAge’s new podcast, The Mentor’s Voice? Published twice a month, on Tuesdays, this podcast provides students and young professionals an opportunity to candidly learn from leaders In the field of aging. The goal is to disseminate wisdom and knowledge to emerging leaders and to inspire and inform their career journey.

On Tuesday, December 15, hear from special guest Sean Kelly, President and CEO of Kendal.

Follow the podcast on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.  Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts! 

LeadingAge Need to Know: COVID-19 – December 14, 2020

LeadingAge shares the latest coronavirus news and resources with members twice each weekday. This morning's update featured the year 2020 Year in Review and a reminder about the LeadingAge staff and experts developing essential advocacy, guidance and tools, and curating the most relevant resources for aging services providers on COVID-19.

Check out the full report here.


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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.