It looks like you have an older browser that is not supported by this site. Please click here to update.

IDH Issues Updated Communication Guidelines – Cumulative Updates Required on a Weekly Basis - IHCA

It looks like you have an older browser that is not supported by this site. Please click here to update.

Article Open to All

IDH Issues Updated Communication Guidelines – Cumulative Updates Required on a Weekly Basis

Posted Mar 25, 20213 min Read

Regulatory & Clinical
Back

As a follow-up to the LTC Newsletter from March 18, 2021, the Indiana Department of Health (IDH) has issued updated Communication Guidelines, which now require long-term care facilities (both nursing facilities and assisted living communities) to issue cumulative COVID-19 updates to residents and their designated representatives on a weekly basis, rather than a daily basis.  However, whenever a new confirmed COVID-19 infection is identified, or whenever three (3) or more residents or staff with new onset of respiratory symptoms occur within 72 hours of each other, the long-term care facility must communicate the new case(s) to residents and their designated representatives by the next calendar day.

Further highlights of IDH’s updated Communication Guidelines are as follows:

  • Cumulative Updates on a Weekly Basis:  Long-term care facilities must issue cumulative COVID-19 updates (i.e., total COVID-19 cases and deaths) to residents and their designated representatives on a weekly basis, rather than a daily basis.  This weekly communication can be accomplished through a variety of ways, such as emails, recorded telephone messages, paper notifications, etc.
  • New Cases by the Next Calendar Day:  Anytime a new confirmed COVID-19 infection is identified, or whenever three (3) or more residents or staff with new onset of respiratory symptoms occur within 72 hours of each other, the long-term facility must communicate the new case(s) to residents and their designated representatives by the next calendar day.
  •  Facility Emergency Transfer Form:  Long-term care facilities must transmit the revised Facility Emergency Transfer Form to the facility’s local long-term care ombudsman on a monthly basis, rather than a weekly basis.  Facilities should also still complete the monthly transfer log to their local ombudsman, which would include transfers to hospitals.
  • Staff Contact Information:  Long-term care facilities should assign a staff member to be the contact person for a unit or the facility for residents and their designated representatives to contact regarding any COVID-related concerns.  A secondary facility contact or a customer service hotline should be available as well.
  • Local Ombudsman Information:  Local long-term care ombudsman contact information should also be provided to every resident and designated representative.
  • Federal Communication Guidelines:  As a reminder, under federal regulation, nursing facilities must inform residents, their representatives, and families of those residing in facilities by 5 p.m. the next calendar day following the occurrence of:
    • Either a single confirmed infection of COVID-19; or
    • Three (3) or more residents or staff (including contractors and volunteers) with new-onset of respiratory symptoms occurring within 72 hours of each other; and
    • This notification must occur at least weekly to provide a cumulative update.