Issue: June 26, 2020

Published on June 26, 2020

Articles in this issue:

COVID-19: SNF Benefit Period Waiver, HHAs Proposed Rule, Ending Nursing Home Blanket Waiver

Author: Lisa Volk and Jackie Pappalardi* Published in Clinical & Quality

Below is a Special Edition of CMS’ mlnconnects publication for Friday, June 26, 2020.

COVID-19: SNF Benefit Period Waiver

Disruptions during a Public Health Emergency can affect the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) benefit:

Emergency waivers of QHS and benefit period requirements under §1812(f) of the Social Security Act help restore SNF coverage that beneficiaries affected by the emergency would be entitled to under normal circumstances.

Learn more about the waiver and how to bill in MLN Matters Article SE20011.


HHAs: Proposed Payment and Policy Changes and Home Infusion Therapy Benefit for CY 2021

On June 25, CMS issued a proposed rule [CMS-1730-P] for FY 2021 that updates the Medicare payment rates for Home Health Agencies (HHAs). This proposed rule also includes a proposal to make permanent the regulatory changes related to telecommunications technologies in providing care under the Medicare home health benefit beyond the expiration of the Public Health Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic.

For More Information:


CMS Announces Plans to End the Blanket Waiver Requiring Nursing Homes to Submit Staffing Data

On June 25, CMS announced plans to end the emergency blanket waiver requiring all nursing homes to resume submitting staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system by August 14, 2020. The PBJ system allows CMS to collect nursing home staffing information which impacts the quality of care residents receive. The blanket waiver was intended to temporarily allow the agency to concentrate efforts on combating COVID-19 and reduce administrative burden on nursing homes so they could focus on patient health and safety during this Public Health Emergency.

The memorandum also provides updates related to staffing and quality measures used on the Nursing Home Compare website and the Five Star Rating System.

To view the memorandum to states and nursing home stakeholders, visit: https://www.cms.gov/medicareprovider-enrollment-and-certificationsurveycertificationgeninfopolicy-and-memos-states-and/changes-staffing-information-and-quality-measures-posted-nursing-home-compare-website-and-five-star.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16

Important AHCA COVID -19 Testing Survey

Author: Lisa Volk and Jackie Pappalardi* Published in Clinical & Quality

AHCA/NCAL is asking members to complete a survey on COVID-19 test availability and use in long term care settings (SNF, AL, ID/DD). Information from this survey will help AHCA/NCAL identify challenges and advocate for more availability and clearer guidance on how testing should be used and reimbursed on a national level. This survey is similar to one we asked you to complete in May, as continuing to monitor this rapidly changing situation is critical to our advocacy efforts. Thank you for taking a few minutes of your time to assist us. Please complete the survey by 5:00 pm on Monday, June 29. 

Take the testing survey now.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16

DOH: New Due Date - Healthcare Personnel Influenza Vaccination Report

Author: * Published in Clinical & Quality

This is an informational message from the New York State Department of Health regarding the new due date of June 30, 2020, for the annual Healthcare Personnel Influenza Vaccination report. Please ensure that the individual responsible for reporting this information at your facility reads the message in the attached pdf.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Director, Special Projects and Educational Development
518-462-4800 x20

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16

CMS: National Learning and Action Network event on June 30: State Partnerships to Support COVID-19 Prevention and Response in Nursing Homes

Author: Lisa Volk and Jackie Pappalardi* Published in Clinical & Quality

Topic: State Partnerships to Support COVID-19 Prevention and Response in Nursing Homes

Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Time: 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET

Registration Required: Register here.

Audience:

This event is open to nursing homes and other stakeholders.

Event Description:

Please join CMS for a National Learning and Action Network (LAN) event on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 from 2:00-3:00 PM ET. This presentation will provide an overview of the different activities and resources that State Healthcare-associated Infections and Antibiotic Resistance (HAI/AR) prevention programs and Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) are offering to assist nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Topics:

  1. HAI/AR prevention program COVID-19 response activities and resources for nursing homes
  2. QIO Program COVID-19 prevention activities and resources for nursing homes
  3. Opportunities for coordination and partnership (examples could include provider outreach, Tele-ICAR activities and NHSN support)
  4. Please join us and be prepared to share your experiences!

Registration Instructions:

  1. Register at https://thebizzellgroup.adobeconnect.com/nursinghomes6-30/event/registration.html.
  2. Once you register, you will receive an email with your individual web link to join the webinar.
  3. The web link you receive will work for only one user, so if you would like to forward this event to additional team members, please send them the registration link.
  4. Please note that registration for this event is limited. It is recommended that you sign into the webinar in advance of the start of the event to ensure participation.

Questions:

Please direct any questions to The Bizzell Group at dvacsupport@thebizzellgroup.com 

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16

CMS Releases FAQ ‘s on Nursing Home Visitation

Author: Lisa Volk and Jackie Pappalardi* Published in Clinical & Quality

Nursing homes should continue to follow CMS and CDC guidance for preventing the transmission of COVID-19 and follow state and local direction. A variety of topics are covered in this document. What steps should nursing homes take before reopening to visitors, compassionate care and communal activities. See full document here https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-visitation-nursing-home-residents.pdf

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16

CMS Announces Plans to End the Blanket Waiver Requiring Nursing Homes to Submit Staffing Data

Author: Lisa Volk and Jackie Pappalardi* Published in Clinical & Quality

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to end the emergency blanket waiver requiring all nursing homes to resume submitting staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system by August 14, 2020. The PBJ system allows CMS to collect nursing home staffing information which impacts the quality of care residents receive. The blanket waiver was intended to temporarily allow the agency to concentrate efforts on combating COVID-19 and reduce administrative burden on nursing homes so they could focus on patient health and safety during this public health emergency.

The memorandum released today also provides updates related to staffing and quality measures used on the Nursing Home Compare website and the Five Star Rating System.

To view the memorandum to states and nursing home stakeholders, visit: https://www.cms.gov/medicareprovider-enrollment-and-certificationsurveycertificationgeninfopolicy-and-memos-states-and/changes-staffing-information-and-quality-measures-posted-nursing-home-compare-website-and-five-star 

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16