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COVID-19 MARCH 20, 2020

Posted Mar 20, 20204 min Read

Regulatory & Clinical

ISDH Requests LTC Workers Use Masks

IHCA/INCAL has requested the ISDH to provide clarification on the guidance listed below. ISDH will be issuing additional guidance for long term care facilities. We will alert our members as soon as the additional guidance becomes available.

In the  ISDH Long Term Care newsletter on the evening of Friday, March 20, the ISDH State Health Commissioner has asked that all long term care facility staff wear a mask during their shift. The newsletter stated “Dr. Kristina M. Box, MD, State Health Commissioner, has requested that all long term care facilities have all healthcare workers wear a face mask during their work shift.”  The newsletter directed facilities to contact their local health departments for additional stock of masks for comprehensive care and residential care facilities.  The request does not require use of an N95 mask.

Click here to access the ISDH announcement.  You can find the announcement under the Personal Protective Equipment Available heading.

Masks stocks have been reported in some areas to be quite low, though we have heard today of stockpile deliveries to some local facilities.  Local health departments apparently have allotments of masks to provide to long term care.  You should reach out to them as soon as possible (Contact their local health departments).

These are unprecedented times.  Thank you for all you are doing.

Letter from State Health Commissioner, Kristina Box to all Indiana Long Term Care Facilities on COVID-19 Testing

Indiana has submitted its first 1135 waiver request 
While far less detailed than other states’ submissions, it does include the following requests:

  • PASRR level 1 to be done within 24 hours of admission and a level 2 within 30 days of admission
  • Waive bed certification rules to permit Medicaid billing in non-Medicaid certified beds
  • Payment in unlicensed settings if the facility has been evacuated
  • Waive prior authorization for select providers (undefined)
  • Expedite managed care (Medicaid) appears to immediately satisfy exhaustion requirements

We expect more waivers to be filed in due time, but all of the above had been previously communicated by IHCA to the state. We will alert all members as to when this waiver is approved by CMS.

ISDH Changes certain TB Testing Requirements

The Indiana State Department of Health issues two orders today that had been requested by the IHCA. The orders do the following:

1. Changes the TB testing requirements for new hires to be completed within 90 days of employment;

2. Suspends the required diagnostic chest X-ray for residents; and

3.  Changes the TB testing requirement for new admissions to be completed within 90 days of admission.

There are separate orders apply to nursing facilities and residential care facilities.  The emergency orders last for 90 days, unless extended, or if the order is revoked or the Governor ends the public health emergency declaration.

IHCA expects additional orders to change other requirements of employee hiring and resident admissions soon.

Workforce update: Bureau of Child Labor 
Effective March 16, 2020 through May 1, 2020: In conjunction with Governor Holcomb’s mandated school closing date, the Indiana Department of Labor is suspending enforcement of:
1) the requirement for employers to have on-file work permits for minor employees, and
2) the requirement to have permission letters from the school allowing minors to work during restricted hours of 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on E-Learning days (applicable to 16- and 17-year-old employees only)
Learn more.