To: Mass Senior Care Members
From: Tara M. Gregorio, President
Re: COVID-19 Update: MassHealth Issues HPPD Reporting Bulletin; OSHA Respiratory Protection Guidance; DPH Order on Regarding Control of COVID-19 in LTCF
Date: November 5, 2020
MassHealth Issues Bulletin on HPPD Reporting
MassHealth has issued MassHealth Nursing Facility Bulletin 155 in regard to the requirement for nursing facilities to report on its staffing levels, including information demonstrating the facility’s average staffing hours per patient day, on a bi-weekly basis. The administrator or other appropriate representative from each nursing facility must submit a report using the prescribed reporting form via the CHIA Submissions web portal by 12:00p.m. (noon) every other Friday, reflecting the previous bi-weekly reporting period, with the first submission due by 12:00 p.m.(noon) on Friday, November 27, 2020, which will be for the reporting period from November 5, 2020, through November 18, 2020. A login is not required to access the CHIA Submissions web portal.
The administrator or other appropriate representative from each nursing facility must also submit, on a quarterly basis, a signed and scanned copy of the executed attestation, which is attached to Bulletin 155 as Appendix A. Within three business days after the end of each calendar quarter, CHIA will provide each facility with a summary of the information submitted by the facility over the previous quarter. Facilities will then have ten business days to review the summary, make any necessary corrections to their reports submitted in accordance with this bulletin for the previous quarter through the CHIA Submissions web portal, and attest through a signed and scanned copy of the attestation attached to this bulletin as Appendix A that the information submitted through such reports during the previous quarter is complete and accurate. This attestation must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on the 10th business day after CHIA sends the facility its quarterly report summary.
OSHA Releases COVID-19 Respiratory Protection Guidance for Long Term Care Employees
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a new resource: Respiratory Protection Guidance for the Employers of Those Working in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Other Long Term Care Facilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In this resource, OSHA reviews requirements around PPE and includes the key elements of the respiratory protection program. The resource includes temporary enforcement discretion related to the respiratory protection standard during COVID-19. Guidance clearly states that for OSHA to exercise enforcement discretion, “employers must demonstrate and document good-faith efforts to comply with OSHA standards.” This includes documenting all attempts to procure required PPE. Additional OSHA guidance on reporting employee cases of COVID-19 and steps to take when PPE is critically low, including N-95 respirators, can be found on the AHCA/NCAL COVID-19 resource website. Providers can also find updated OSHA guidance on COVID-19 on OSHA's COVID-19 website.
Public Health Order and Guidance for Implementation of Order of the Commissioner of Public Health Regarding Control of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities
Today, the Department of Public Health (DPH) released a Public Health Order and guidance for Implementation of Order of the Commissioner of Public Health Regarding Control of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities. This Public Health Order states that if the Department determines that there is a threat to the health and safety of residents of a licensed long term care facility due to the risk of uncontrolled transmission of COVID-19 within the facility, the facility must take such steps as the Department determines are necessary to mitigate the risk and protect the health and safety of residents and staff, including accepting support and assistance from the Commonwealth.