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03/22/2021

Today's COVID-19 Report: Tuesday, March 23

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Thursday, March 18 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and other topics of importance.


A REMINDER TO ALL MEMBERS

LeadingAge Ohio releases a weekly Affordable Housing newsletter on Mondays and a Home Health and Hospice newsletter on Tuesdays. Please email info@leadingageohio.org to receive either/both publications.

In Today's Report

  • ODH releases orders for visitation, testing
  • HB 179 to require home care licensure
  • LeadingAge Provider Relief Fund survey
  • LeadingAge Ohio member survey headed to your inbox in the coming weeks
  • LeadingAge Ohio associate member Rolf debuts online platform to support visitation process
  • Value First and HPSI partner to bring members capital equipment options
  • LeadingAge Need to Know

ODH releases orders for visitation, testing

This morning, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) released a set of four new orders governing visitation and testing in Ohio’s nursing homes and assisted living.

Visitation Orders

Testing Orders

On this morning’s all-member call, LeadingAge Ohio Quality and Regulatory Specialist Stephanie DeWees fielded dozens of questions on how the new orders will be implemented. Since questions exceeded the allotted hour, LeadingAge Ohio has committed to creating a special alert in which provider questions related to visitation and testing can be fielded.

LeadingAge Ohio anticipates user-friendly guidance documents to be released in the coming days for providers to share with families and the public. The anticipated revision to the Director’s Order governing Ohio’s adult day and senior centers has yet to be released, but is anticipated this week or early next.

HB 179 to require home care licensure

This week, HB 179 was introduced to the House Families, Aging and Human Services committee by Representatives Ginter and Fraizer.  In addition to reintroduction of language which would allow assisted living facilities to expedite licensure review for any addition and/or renovation, the bill also proposes licensure for home health agencies and non-medical home care providers in Ohio.  Home health agencies that are Medicare certified and/or accredited or certified with the Ohio Department of Aging or Developmental Disabilities would be able to apply to the Ohio Department of Health for licensure. A fee of $250 will accompany the application, and licensure renewal would be required every three years. The bill would require that a home health agency or nonagency provider seeking to provide nonmedical home health services apply to the Department of Health for a nonmedical home health services license.

LeadingAge Ohio is reviewing the bill with its Home Health, Hospice & HCBS Subcommittee, as well as with its Advocacy Committee, in anticipation of offering testimony and/or amendments that would improve the legislation. To offer input on the bill, email Susan Wallace, Chief Policy Officer at swallace@leadingageohio.org or Anne Shelley, Director of Regulatory Affairs for Home Health & Hospice at ashelley@leadingageohio.org.

LeadingAge Provider Relief Fund survey

Today, LeadingAge launched a member survey to gauge how many Provider Relief Fund (PRF) dollars members have received to date, and how much and why unmet need remains. This information will help LeadingAge advocate to Congress for additional PRF appropriations and articulate the reasons providers still need this help.

Health & Human Services (HHS) has confirmed that roughly $24B remains in the PRF pot from all prior appropriations. For perspective, this is roughly how much HHS sent out in Phase 3 payments to cover expenses and losses for the first half of 2020. Congress did instruct HHS to use 85% of the remaining funds to cover lost revenues and expenses related to Coronavirus incurred during the last half of 2020 and first quarter of 2021. LeadingAge does not believe that the amount will be sufficient.

Of note, there is an additional $8.5B set aside for rural providers from the recently-enacted American Relief Plan.  HHS has not yet determined how any of these remaining funds will be distributed.  After these monies are distributed, the PRF will end without additional appropriations.  

Members (nursing homes, assisted living, life plan communities, adult day, HCBS and home health) should complete the survey as soon as possible to help lay the groundwork with Congress for additional funds.

LeadingAge Ohio member survey headed to inboxes in the coming weeks

In the first full week of April, the biennial LeadingAge Ohio member survey will be emailed to all LeadingAge Ohio members. LeadingAge Ohio conducts this survey in partnership with Association Metrics to assess members’ perspectives of LeadingAge Ohio’s strengths and weaknesses. Results feed into planning processes and help LeadingAge Ohio make critical decisions about programming development and resource allocation. Last completed in 2018 with record participation, COVID interrupted the traditional 2-year cycle of receiving member feedback; all who receive and/or participate in LeadingAge Ohio newsletter, bulletins, education, and other programs are encouraged to participate. The survey is estimated to take 15 minutes.

Individuals who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing that includes the following prizes:

  • Full registration to the LeadingAge Ohio annual conference (2 available); 
  • $50 Amazon gift card (2 available);
  • $50 Starbucks gift card (2 available).

Any questions regarding the membership survey may be directed to Jennifer Taylor, Director Member Experience, at jtaylor@leadingageohio.org.

LeadingAge Ohio associate member Rolf debuts online platform to support visitation process

Providers have found that offering visitation during the pandemic requires substantial staff time to coordinate scheduling, screening, and risk management functions. LeadingAge Ohio associate firm Rolf Goffman Martin Lang has released an online platform titled eConfirm to automate and simplify the visitation process. 

eConfirm offers:

  • Coverage of legal requirements and guidance
  • Risk management acknowledgments
  • Integration with EHR
  • Coverage for staff and vendors
  • Upcoming marketing tools coming soon
  • Customizable branding

Members can learn more about the eConfirm platform from Rolf here.

Value First and HPSI partner to bring members capital equipment options

As members refresh and remodel, Value First can assist LeadingAge Ohio members by bringing a larger breadth of vendor options with extra savings through new and improved contract agreements. Comprehensive and cost-effective procurement solutions for all FF&E products typically include:

Commercial Kitchen Equipment including cooking & steam equipment, dishwashers, food prep equipment, ice machines, shelving, mobile dividers.

Decorative Furnishings including carpet & padding, lamps, case goods, tables, chairs, mattresses, wall covering, privacy curtains, linens, paint and more.

Outdoor Spaces including outdoor seating and dining, mobile heat lamps, outdoor shades, mobile sinks as well as contracted landscaping services (based on region).

Room-in-a-Box Program to streamline room turns, give new residents great options and help communities take advantage of discount programs through standardization.

For questions and to learn how to get started, contact Denise May at dmay@valuefirstonline.com or call 608-609-6964.

LeadingAge Need to Know: COVID-19 – March 23, 2021

LeadingAge shares the latest coronavirus news and resources with members twice each weekday. This morning's update featured 2021 LeadingAge Lobby Day registration deadline information, provider relief fund survey information, member solution savings, and more. 

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 gro up 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.