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We are closely monitoring the news and guidance concerning COVID-19 and are working with the Governor’s office, the Indiana State Department of Health and AHCA/NCAL, to ensure our member providers receive the necessary guidance to care for the most vulnerable Hoosiers during this public health emergency. Visit this webpage daily to access the latest updates.
On September 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued QSO 20-39, a memorandum detailing guidance for visitation in nursing facilities during the public health emergency. The QSO also addresses communal activities and dining, entry of health care workers to facilities other than staff, entry of government agency investigators, and a new CMP grant related to visitation equipment (tents and plexiglass).
On September 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced additional details regarding the $2 billion incentive payment structure for nursing facilities from HHS’s Provider Relief Fund (see section “How is the $2 billion incentive payment to skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes being determined?”).
On September 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a new COVID-19 positivity rate data file that is used to determine testing frequency for nursing facility staff (click here for the website to download the file). This data is for the period September 3-9. There are three counties in Indiana that are above 10% positivity in this week’s file. Facilities in the following counties must begin twice-weekly COVID-19 testing:
Please note: CMS will be releasing the county positivity data on a weekly basis which will not always be on the same day.
On September 16, 2020, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) renewed all of the Emergency Orders granting Temporary Blanket Waivers (Waivers) for comprehensive care facilities and residential care facilities, effective immediately. The Waivers will expire no earlier than the withdrawal or expiration of the Governor’s declaration of the public health emergency. Indiana’s public health emergency declaration currently runs through October 2, 2020.
By September 18, 2020, the nursing facilities and assisted living communities listed on this spreadsheet are expected to receive Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Cards, a Point of Care (POC) SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test. More about the BinaxNOW COVID-19 cards can be found here.
Long-term care providers located in yellow and red counties were prioritized for this shipment.
The Department of Health and Human Services has extended the deadline for assisted living providers to submit their taxpayer ID numbers for validation as part of the application process for the Phase 2 Provider Relief Fund Distribution to September 21.
On September 11, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an update to the temporary rule the DOL issued in April regarding the paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave expansion act (EFMLEA) requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Under the DOL’s original rule, all employees of a health care provider were not required to be provided paid sick leave.
On September 8, 2020, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) issued guidance on the reporting of Point of Care (POC) COVID-19 test results, which can be found in full here. POC testing for COVID-19 includes results obtained via molecular and antigen testing machines. Although the guidance has been issued by ISDH, the requirement to report POC test results is the result of CMS’s Interim Final Rule and QSO 20-37, which require CLIA-certified laboratories that utilize POC tests to report all negative and positive COVID-19 results.
Last week, OMPP informed IHCA that the 4.2% temporary rate increase for nursing facilities will be extended to September 30, 2020. The COVID-Ready 2% add-on and the $115/per day COVID-Unit payment ended 8.31.2020 and will not continue.
An official Banner announcement concerning the new requirement (previously communicated to the IHCA Payment Committee) to complete and submit PDPM-related items on the MDS was published last week.
Two weeks ago, the interim UPL payment calculations were released by Myers & Stauffer (M&S). The Medicaid calculations included all three COVID-related add-ons, when applicable (4.2% was added for all and the 2% was added for COVID-Ready facilities). The interim calculations also included an estimate of days paid for the COVID-Unit add-on.
In a surprise announcement during a recent phone call, OMPP has decided to pay a full 21-days at $115/day for any resident that resided in a COVID-19 Ready facility and was in a COVID-unit. Previous guidance and billing instruction indicated that they would pay up to 21-days and only the specific number of days the resident was in the COVID-unit.
On September 4, 2020, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) released a list of labs that have excess capacity and are interested in partnering with Indiana’s long-term care (LTC) facilities for resident/employee testing. The ISDH is encouraging LTCs to establish a relationship with a primary and secondary laboratory for COVID-19 testing and is recommending LTCs to have a backup lab in case their primary lab experiences delayed turnaround times.
Starting next week, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) will begin collecting all positive and negative COVID-19 lab results from the CMS-delivered point-of-care antigen testing machines. This reporting through a second, additional Redcap form will satisfy CLIA reporting requirements, and will ensure that the ISDH captures laboratory information in a timely manner.
On September 3, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a new COVID-19 positivity rate data file that is used to determine testing frequency for nursing facility staff (click here for the website to download the file). This newly published file should be used to begin compliance with the CMS testing mandate as the data from today was published on 9/2/2020, the same date the CMS testing mandate became legally effective. Last week’s data should not be used as it was published before the effective date of the rule. This analysis has been confirmed with ISDH.
There are seven counties in Indiana that are above 10% positivity in this week’s file.
On September 2, 2020, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) released guidance on the use of eye protection in long-term care facilities, which can be found in full here. ISDH is recommending the use of eye protection as a standard safety measure to protect long-term care health care personnel (HCP) who provide essential direct care within six (6) feet of a resident, particularly when conducting procedures that may lead to sprays and splashes.
On of September 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that private pay assisted living/memory care providers are eligible to apply for CARES Act Provider Relief Funds from the Phase 2 General Distribution round of funding. Further details are as follows:
On August 25, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a national nursing home training program for frontline nursing home staff and nursing home management. The “Targeted COVID-19 Training for Frontline Nursing Home Staff & Management” is available immediately, with five (5) specific modules designed for frontline clinical staff and ten (10) designed for nursing home management. The training is available on CMS’s Quality, Safety & Education Portal.
September 2: Lab & Electronic Health Record Vendor Survey
ISDH Webinar For Long Term Care Facilities
Join representatives from ISDH for this bi-weekly webinar where their team will share latest information on COVID-19 and provide important updates for long term care providers. These webinars are also a great platform for member providers to offer feedback and ask questions to the ISDH. These webinars are complimentary and are available to all long term care providers of Indiana.
When: Every other Thursday from 12- 1 p.m. EST
Please Note: Moving forward, these webinars will be held on a bi-weekly basis.
[Upcoming Webinar] ISDH Webinar for Long Term Care
September 17, 2020
September 10: ISDH Webinar for Long Term Care Facilities
August 27, 2020 from 12-1 p.m. EST
August 13, 2020 from 12-1:30 p.m. EST
August 6, 2020 from 12-1 p.m. EST
July 23, 2020 from 12-1 p.m. EST
July 9, 2020 from 12-1 p.m. EST
July 2, 2020 from 12-1 p.m. EST
June 25: ISDH Webinar For Long Term Care Facilities
June 18: ISDH Webinar For Long Term Care Facilities
June 11: ISDH Webinar For Long Term Care Facilities
June 4: ISDH Webinar For Long Term Care Facilities
May 28: ISDH Webinar For Long Term Care Facilities
May 21: ISDH Webinar For Long Term Care Facilities
May 14: ISDH Webinar For Long Term Care Facilities
May 7: ISDH Webinar For Long Term Care Facilities
April 30: ISDH Webinar For Long Term Care Facilities
April 23: ISDH Webinar For Long Term Care Facilities
April 16: ISDH Webinar For Long Term Care Facilities
April 9: ISDH Webinar For Long Term Care Facilities
The ISDH has approved two temporary aide programs for both skilled nursing and residential care facilities to use during the public health emergency:
Both programs are active and both can be used. Details about each individual course and related training providers are noted in the sidebar at left.
On April 18, 2020, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) issued a Sixth Emergency Order for Comprehensive Care Facilities that adds the AHCA Temporary Nurse Aide program as an option for training individuals to assist with patient care during the public health emergency. This is additive to the currently approved Personal Care Attendant program.
The AHCA program is an 8-hour fully online program and resources for this program are:
This approval is additive to the Personal Care Attendant program previously approved, but contains some key differences. Both programs are active and both can be used.
The COVID-19 Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Course permits comprehensive care facilities (nursing homes) to employ a trained Personal Care Attendant to perform defined resident care procedures that do not require the skill or training required for a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA).
As part of the newly launched Indiana’s Caring Heroes Program, IHCA/INCAL has updated its Indiana.carefortheaging.org platform to assist members with the recruitment of the Temporary Personal Care Attendant (PCA) and Temporary Nurse Aide (TNA) roles.
IHCA/INCAL Contact: Deeksha Kapoor | email@example.com
Early preparations, speed and accuracy of information is essential to managing an urgent situation. Refer to these resources and put together a communications plan for all stakeholders including employees, clinical staff, residents, families etc.
This has been a challenging time for everyone: staff, residents and their loved ones. We know many of you are going to extraordinary lengths to keep your residents safe from this virus, as well as help keep them engaged while they’re unable to visit with family members, volunteers, and even each other due to social distancing. With many individuals now staying home, we thought this would be a good opportunity for members of the public to send some messages of support to our residents.
AHCA/NCAL has released www.carenotcovid.com to make it easy for anyone to send a video message to our seniors and individuals with disabilities. They are collecting stories from around the internet, so everyone can feel uplifted and inspired to chip in where they can. Whether it’s encouraging donations of hand sanitizer to your local facility, or asking children (who are at home while schools are closed) to create a homemade card, we hope you’ll show your residents www.carenotcovid.com every day to let them know that we’re all thinking about them.
Due to the CDC restriction on all group activities, Enrichment On Demand is offering as a community service 8 hours of continuous digital engagement available daily on YouTube. Learn more. Enrichment on Demand is offering senior communities interested in experiencing CONNECTIONS, a two week free trial subscription. If interested, please contact Paula Stokes McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 223-8114
IHCA/INCAL Contact: Zach Cattell| email@example.com
Marriott International has established a “Community Caregivers Rate” has been established to expedite the booking process for healthcare and relief professionals and support staff. This rate will be available from March 26, 2020 through June 30, 2020 at participating hotels. Learn more.
Please read the summarized detail circulated by AHCA/NCAL related to the following:
April 20, 2020: AHCA Updates 4
In response to AHCA/NCAL’s advocacy to include nursing home, assisted living, and ID/DD staff in their definition of “health care provider,” the Department of Labor has published guidance to address exemptions and employer requirements to the expanded Family Medical Leave Act and sick leave benefits included in the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Of note, the Department’s exemptions FAQ (see #56) states that the “health care provider” exemption to these new leave requirements applies to “anyone employed at any… nursing facility, retirement facility, nursing home, home health care provider… This includes any permanent or temporary institution, facility, location, or site where medical services are provided that are similar to such institutions.” The exemption also applies to employees of contractors with the above institutions who “provide services or to maintain the operation of the facility.” Employers with over 500 employees are also exempted. Please review this FAQ closely.
To minimize the spread of the virus associated with COVID-19, the Department encourages employers to be judicious when using this definition to exempt health care providers from the provisions of the FFCRA.
IHCA/INCAL has developed this Essential Healthcare Personnel form for you to place your facility logo on and provide to each of your staff members so that they can have this with them while they travel for work during the Stay at Home Order issued by Governor Holcomb.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) are directing facilities to screen healthcare personnel (HCP) prior to allowing them to work or provide services in the facility. AANAC, AAPACN, and AADNS have created a screening questionnaire for health care professionals, as well as screening questions for HCP’ returning to work. Access the questionnaire here.
IHCA/INCAL engaged the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning (OECOSL) regarding available child care options and supports for our workforce and their children. There are two main options:
For assistance with either of these options contact Nicole Norvell, Director, Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning, 317.234.3313 or Nicole.Norvell@fssa.IN.gov.
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) now has an online request form for health care facilities, including long-term care facilities, with workforce needs to request assistance from those health care professionals who have volunteered or who are otherwise available to assist during this public health emergency, including health care professionals previously assigned to elective surgeries and those who have received a temporary license to practice, such as retired health care professionals and recent graduates of accredited medical, nursing, physician assistant, and respiratory care programs.
The Health Care Workforce Needs Request Form can be found here.
ISDH, in partnership with the Bowen Center, will then distribute information about employment opportunities within your facility to individuals who indicated willingness to serve and meet the specified criteria/need as outlined in your request.
The Indiana State Department of Health issues two orders that had been requested by the IHCA. Seperate orders apply to nursing facilities (March 20) and residential care facilities (March 20). The orders do the following:
Indiana DOL has add several updates to its website related to youth employment:
LTC providers can learn how to recruit and hire hospitality and food service workers who may be looking for temporary work. Leaders from SnapShyft will walk through the SnapShyft process, with a brief demo of the desktop software and mobile app, and provide and opportunity for Q&A. Visit the SnapShyft website, or access their intro flyer.
SnapShyft Contact: Thor Wood, Founder/CEO, Thor@snapshyft.com
RestUp is an app and website that healthcare facilities use to find RNs, LPNs, QMA’s, CNAs, HHAs and now PCA’s for open shifts that need to be filled immediately or within the next few days/weeks. Simply put, RestUp is like the Uber/Lyft of staffing for facilities. We have a licensed HFA as our COO who completes all the credentialing of our caregivers to ensure compliance with your regulations. There is no minimum use requirement. You just use it when you need it and only pay for what you use. http://www.restup.today
Click here to view details related to the Personal Care Attendant (PCA) and Temporary Nurse Aide (TNA) programs.
September 2: Antigen Tests for Assisted Living Communities
August 27: Return to Work Decision Tree
August 12: New NHSN Data Elements on Testing
August 10: HHS Opens CHOW Portal
July 23: Initial Long-Term Care Data Released
June 1: Contact Tracing Calls
May 26: NHSN Reporting Update and FAQs
May 26: Revised OSHA COVID-19 Policies
May 10: COVID-19 Testing Strategies
April 29: Indiana COVID-19 Testing Sites
April 18: ISDH Issues Additional CNA Flexibilities