Issue: May 21, 2020

Published on May 21, 2020

Articles in this issue:

DOH-DOL May 17, 2020 Guidance on Use of COVID-19 Sick Leave for Health Care Employers

Author: Jackie Pappalardi and Nancy Leveille* Published in Clinical & Quality

On March 18, 2020, New York State enacted legislation authorizing sick leave for employees subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. The law provides paid and unpaid sick leave with access to expanded paid family leave and temporary disability depending on the size of the employer. All employees, regardless of the size of their employer, are entitled to job protection upon return from leave. See full advisory attached.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

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

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

OSHA Revised Policies

Author: Jackie Pappalardi* Published in Clinical & Quality

Revised OSHA Policies 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has adopted revised policies for enforcing OSHA’s COVID-19 requirements, which will become effective May 26, 2020. The previous memorandum will be rescinded.  

OSHA is increasing in-person inspections at all types of workplaces. In geographic areas with sustained elevated community transmission or a resurgence, OSHA will prioritize on-site inspections for high-risk workplaces, such as health care providers treating patients with COVID-19.  

OSHA is also revising its previous enforcement policy for recording cases of COVID-19. Under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness. Employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if the case: 

Under the new policy issued, OSHA will enforce recordkeeping requirements for employee COVID-19 illnesses for all employers. OSHA acknowledges the difficulty in determining whether a COVID-19 illness is work-related, especially when an employee has experienced potential exposure both in and out of the workplace. OSHA’s guidance emphasizes that employers must make reasonable efforts, based on the evidence available to the employer, to determine whether it would be considered work-related.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

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

ACHA #70 CARES Act Provider Relief Fund CHOW FAQS

Author: Jackie Pappalardi and Nancy Leveille* Published in AHCA / NCAL News, Clinical & Quality

In This COVID-19 Update: 

  • CHOW FAQs
  • OSHA Revised Policies
  • ACO FAQs

CARES Act Provider Relief Fund CHOW FAQs 


On May 19, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted four FAQs on Change of Ownership (CHOW).    

The four CHOW FAQs are:  

  • Can an organization that sold its only practice or facility under a change in ownership in 2019 and is no longer providing services, accept payment and transfer it to the new owner?  
  • If the current TIN owner has not yet received any payment from the Provider Relief Fund, it may still receive funds in other distributions. Can a provider that purchased a TIN in 2019 accept a Provider Relief Fund payment from a previous owner and complete the attestation for the Terms and Conditions?  
  • If, as a result of the sale of a practice/hospital, the TIN that received a General Distribution payment is no longer providing health care services as of January 31, 2020, is it required to return the General Distribution payment?  
  • How does the organization account for these acquisitions when submitting revenue information in the Payment Portal?  

The UnitedHealth Group CARES Provider Hotline has given guidance that does not align with the FAQs.  AHCA/NCAL has requested clarification on how to address action steps already taken related to CHOWs based on Hotline Guidance as well as a list of other questions to HHS.
  


Revised OSHA Policies 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has adopted revised policies for enforcing OSHA’s COVID-19 requirements, which will become effective May 26, 2020. The previous memorandum will be rescinded.  

OSHA is increasing in-person inspections at all types of workplaces. In geographic areas with sustained elevated community transmission or a resurgence, OSHA will prioritize on-site inspections for high-risk workplaces, such as health care providers treating patients with COVID-19.  

OSHA is also revising its previous enforcement policy for recording cases of COVID-19. Under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness. Employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if the case: 

Under the new policy issued, OSHA will enforce recordkeeping requirements for employee COVID-19 illnesses for all employers. OSHA acknowledges the difficulty in determining whether a COVID-19 illness is work-related, especially when an employee has experienced potential exposure both in and out of the workplace. OSHA’s guidance emphasizes that employers must make reasonable efforts, based on the evidence available to the employer, to determine whether it would be considered work-related. 
 


COVID-19 FAQs Updated: ACO Section 

On Friday, May 15, CMS updated its COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Billing .  The ACO section included an updated question (pg. 40, question #6) around the length of time a Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACO would be responsible for shared losses with the trigger of the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Policy.  CMS’ response includes an example and explains that ACOS in performance-based risk tracks for 2020 would only be responsible for incurred losses for the time period prior to or after the COVID-10 Public Health Emergency (PHE).  The rest of the FAQs are around the MIPS program and beneficiary notifications. With regards to beneficiary notifications CMS continues to allow notifications through email, secure portal or mail and has relaxed its timely notification policy as long as the beneficiary notification is completed by the end of the performance year. 

 


NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

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

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

AHCA/NCAL Social Media Update - Weeks of May 11th and 18th

Author: Jackie Pappalardi and Nancy Leveille* Published in Clinical & Quality, Communication

Welcome to the AHCA/NCAL Social Media Update. AHCA is currently using this newsletter to activate our social media advocates to share our resources related to COVID-19. Because of the urgent public health nature of this disease, these are resources for all providers, not just AHCA/NCAL members, so we hope you can help us promote them in channels other than direct member communications.

For positive stories related to providers responding to COVID-19 and keeping patients and residents safe, please look for our new Provider Daily Special Edition, which goes out every Tuesday and Thursday.

If you have an interested colleague or a suggestion for what to share on social media, please have them send an email at socialmedia@ahca.org so they can join in.

Content To Share on Social Media

Testing Cost 

We are emphasizing the large cost of COVID-19 testing. At a time when many states are requiring universal testing of staff and residents, it’s important to ensure providers have sufficient funds.

Long term care providers are ready and willing to institute universal testing, but just one round nationally costs nearly half a billion dollars. Funding is crucial! https://www.mcknights.com/news/providers-worry-there-wont-be-enough-supplies-to-test-nursing-home-workers-twice-a-week/

Universal testing in nursing homes costs $440 million per round of testing. These providers need financial assistance to ensure seniors are safe. https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-vaccine-race-updates-wistar-innovio-jefferson-moderna-20200520.html

Each round of nursing home testing costs $440 million nationally, and multiple rounds are needed. Additional resources are crucial so these providers can test their staff and residents. https://floridapolitics.com/archives/334383-nursing-homes-plead-to-feds-for-covid-19-testing-funds

Nursing care providers want to keep seniors safe with regular testing, but the cost is immense. Extra funds are critical. These providers cannot shoulder the burden on their own. https://skillednursingnews.com/2020/05/price-tag-for-testing-all-nursing-home-residents-staff-for-covid-19-once-440-million/

"Even the CDC’s recent recommendation to test all nursing home staff weekly would cost more than $1 billion every month." These providers need sufficient funding for tests. https://www.fox7austin.com/news/testing-every-texas-nursing-home-resident-and-staff-for-covid-19-could-cost-29m-data-shows

Polling

National polls recently conducted on behalf of AHCA/NCAL suggest Americans overwhelmingly support rallying around long term care.

New polls are clear: voters overwhelmingly support rallying around long term care providers. Caregivers for seniors deserve funding and resources to fight #COVID19. https://www.ahcancal.org/News/news_releases/Pages/Survey-U-S--Voters-Strongly-Support-More-Funding-for-Nursing-Homes-and-Assisted-Living-Communities-in-Response-to-Coronavir.aspx

A new survey shows a majority of American voters say that nursing homes and assisted living communities need more money for supplies, staffing and testing to fight #COVID19. https://www.ahcancal.org/News/news_releases/Pages/Survey-U-S--Voters-Strongly-Support-More-Funding-for-Nursing-Homes-and-Assisted-Living-Communities-in-Response-to-Coronavir.aspx

Long term care providers have been sounding the alarm on the need for resources to fight #COVID19. #LTCHeroes need support to protect seniors from this deadly virus, and American voters agree. https://www.ahcancal.org/News/news_releases/Pages/Survey-U-S--Voters-Strongly-Support-More-Funding-for-Nursing-Homes-and-Assisted-Living-Communities-in-Response-to-Coronavir.aspx

Americans are deeply concerned about the impact of #COVID19 on long term care communities, and want the government to rally around vulnerable seniors and their caregivers. New polling here: https://www.ahcancal.org/News/news_releases/Pages/Survey-U-S--Voters-Strongly-Support-More-Funding-for-Nursing-Homes-and-Assisted-Living-Communities-in-Response-to-Coronavir.aspx

Congressman Burgess Efforts 

We want to thank Congressman Michael Burgess for his efforts to ensure CARES Act funds are prioritized for long term care providers.

Thank you to Congressman @michaelcburgess for asking long term care providers be prioritized as CARES Act funding is distributed. These buildings care for and are home to some of the most vulnerable. https://burgess.house.gov/uploadedfiles/2020-05-19_burgess_ltr_to_azar_re_nursing_homes_assisted_living_final.pdf

Lawmakers need to fight for seniors in long term care. Thank you to @michaelcburgess, to is asking senior care providers be prioritized as the government distributes CARES Act funding. https://burgess.house.gov/uploadedfiles/2020-05-19_burgess_ltr_to_azar_re_nursing_homes_assisted_living_final.pdf

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

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

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

Last Chance to Register! Two Day Webinar Series-Untapped Innovation: Using Telehealth to Improve Resident Care

Author: Scott Jackson CMP* Published in Education

Don’t Hesitate! Register Today!
Two Day Webinar Series-Untapped Innovation: Using Telehealth to Improve Resident Care starts with Part I on May 27, 2020.

The COVID-19 crisis ushered in a new era for telehealth and greatly accelerated the adoption of this technology. Many are now projecting that telehealth will remain a key mode of healthcare delivery after the pandemic is over. “I think the genie’s out of the bottle on this one,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma told the Wall Street Journal. What is the future for telehealth in the skilled nursing setting, and how can you use it to gain the edge over the competition? Join this innovative two-part series to explore these questions.

PART I: MAY 27, 2020     
Introduction to the use of telehealth in the long-term care setting

PART II: JUNE 19, 2020         
Explore the answers and do a deeper dive

During the pandemic, the healthcare system realized the potential of telehealth to reduce the spread of infection while delivering effective care. Join us to learn how to use this untapped innovation to improve resident care in your facility and gain the edge over the competition.


These interesting and informative webinars will be presented by Jane Bello Burke, Esq. of Hodgson Russ Attorneys, LLP. 

Click here for additional details and registration options.

2020 Nursing Scholarship Program Deadline Extended to June 30

Author:

The deadline for the 2020 Ruth E. Stafford and James D. Durante Nursing Scholarship Program has been extended to June 30, 2020.

Once again we are pleased to announce the Foundation for Quality Care Nursing Scholarship Program. The Foundation for Quality Care, the research and education affiliate of the New York State Health Facilities Association/New York State Center for Assisted Living (NYSHFA/NYSCAL), will administer the Ruth E. Stafford and James D. Durante Nursing Scholarship Program for 2020. This Scholarship Fund Program has been established to provide financial support to incumbent employees of NYSHFA/NYSCAL member facilities who are also nursing students pursuing careers in long term care. The Durante/Stafford Scholarships will now be awarded to students/nurses in three categories:

Skilled Nursing

Category I:  Students pursuing licenses as a practical nurse or registered nurse.  Two scholarships for $2,000 each are available for the Category I Scholarship.

Category II:  Registered nurses pursuing advanced degrees in nursing (Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate, Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Specialist).  Two scholarships for $2,000 each are available for the Category II Scholarship.

Assisted Living

Students pursuing licenses as a practical nurse or registered nurse.  One scholarship for $2,000 is available.

The winners will be selected by NYSHFA’s Nurse Leadership Advisory Committee and awarded their Scholarship at the Annual Nurse Leadership Conference on Thursday, September 17, 2020 in Verona, New York.

Scholarship Criteria and Submission Information:
Attached are the Scholarship Brochure and Application and Recommendation Forms. At the time of application, and when the scholarships are awarded, applicants must be employed by a long term care facility that is a member in good standing of the New York State Health Facilities Association/New York State Center for Assisted Living. Applicants must be applying to or enrolled in / accepted to an accredited school of nursing program for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Applications are due by June 30, 2020. Send your completed application and materials to Joanne O'Connor at joconnor@nyshfa.org.

If you have questions regarding this program, please contact Joanne O'Connor at the Foundation.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

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

Joanne O'Connor
Communications & Business Development Coordinator
518-462-4800 ext. 23