To: Mass Senior Care Members
From: Tara M. Gregorio, President
Re: COVID-19 Updates: CMS New COVID-19 Testing Requirements Effective Tomorrow; DHHS Issues Infection Control Provider Relief Fund Updates; AHCA Recorded Webinar on Testing Requirements Now Available; DPH Weekly Call Reminder
CMS' New COVID-19 Testing Requirements Effective Tomorrow,September 2, 2020
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has issued an interim final rule with requirements for routine COVID-19 testing in nursing homes. This rule goes into effect on September 2, 2020. The CMS interim final rule overrules the DPH guidance on Long-Term Care Surveillance Testing. Massachusetts nursing homes must shift to testing ALL staff monthly unless there is a COVID-19 positive case in a resident or staff or the positivity rate in the county the facility is located in increases to 5% or greater. It is strongly recommended that nursing homes review QSO-20-38-NH closely and access the resources listed below:
AHCA has developed several resources to help nursing homes understand and meet these new requirements:
AHCA Summary of Testing and Reporting Requirements - Summarizes the QSO memos and the guidance established by CMS for testing and reporting.
AHCA will host a series of “office hours” with staff experts Dr. David Gifford, Courtney Bishnoi and Jill Sumner to briefly review the new requirements and guidance and answer any questions providers may have. The office hours are scheduled for September 2, 3 and 4 at 4 pm Eastern. Web-ex information is as follows:
- Join via web: Web-Ex Meeting Link
- Join via phone: 1-415-655-0003
- Meeting number (access code): 172 882 5865
- Meeting password: mUi2SxhjC56
Webinar: Batch Testing on the Sofia2 - 9/3 at 3 pm EST - Quidel will be hosting a webinar for AHCA on Thursday, September 3 at 3 pm Eastern to explain how providers can conduct a high volume of tests in a short period of time using the Sofia2 batch testing functionality.
Rapid Point-of-Care Antigen Devices: What SNF's Need to Know - Steps providers need to take when they receive their rapid point-of-care antigen devices from HHS.
Mass Senior Care continues to work with the DPH to provide updated guidance on testing that aligns with the CMS regulations.
DHHS Issues Infection Control Provider Relief Fund
(1) Terms and Conditions and (2) Updated FAQ
On August 29th, DHHS issued updated guidance on the Infection Control Provider Relief Fund Distribution.
Please note that the terms and conditions are different from previous Allocation Terms and Conditions. And, DHHS indicated providers must attest to these different Terms and Conditions.
We recommend that members establish separate accounts for each award for accounting purposes and future reporting to DHHS. We believe separate accounting is particularly important for this Allocation due to the different Terms and Conditions.
Recording of Member Webinar with Mark Parkinson &
Dr. David Gifford Available Now
Last week’s AHCA/NCAL member webinar, "New CMS Testing Requirements for Staff & Residents: What You Need to Know," with President and CEO Mark Parkinson and Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Gifford is available to access now. While the live session was restricted to facility members only, the recording is open to all AHCA members. AHCA is continuing to develop additional resources on the new requirements and will make these available soon.
Please click here to access the recorded webinar.
DPH Weekly Call Reminder
The next weekly call with providers is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. These calls will include members of DPH’s Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, and Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management. This call is intended for long-term care facilities caring for residents with COVID-19.
Phone Number: 888-390-5007
Participant Code: 6826729