To: Mass Senior Care Members
From: Tara M. Gregorio, President
Re: COVID-19 Updates: CMS Nursing Home Reopening Recommendations; Compliance Filing Deadline Reminders
Date: May 20, 2020
CMS Issues Nursing Home Reopening Recommendations for State and Local Officials
On May 18, CMS provided recommendations on a nursing home phased reopening for states. The recommendations cover the following items:
- Recommendations for testing residents and staff
- Dedicated space for cohorting residents with COVID-19
- Criteria for relaxing certain restrictions and mitigating the risk of resurgence
- Visitation and service considerations
- Restoration of survey activities
The guidance encourages state leaders to collaborate with the state survey agency and local health departments to decide how these criteria should be implemented. Given the critical importance in limiting COVID-19 exposure in nursing homes, CMS recommends that decisions on relaxing restrictions be made with careful review of the following facility-level, community, and state factors:
- Baseline test of all residents, weekly testing of all staff, practicing social distancing, and universal source control for residents and visitors (e.g., face coverings)
- Status of COVID-19 cases in the local community
- Status of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes
- Adequate staffing
- Access to adequate personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Local hospital capacity
EOHHS and DPH are reviewing this guidance carefully and are expected to release guidance at a later date related to CMS’ recommendations.
Reminder: Compliance Filing Deadlines
As a reminder to members, please note the following 2 compliance filing deadlines:
- Initial Financial Plan (May 21st) - Facilities must submit their initial financial plan by emailing the completed template to CHIANursingFacilityData@state.ma.us by Thursday, May 21. To complete the template, you must enter in the nursing facility’s 1st supplemental payment amount. The amount can be found here.
- Baseline Testing (May 25th) – Facilities must test 90% of staff and 90% of residents by May 25 to be eligible for continued payments per Accountability & Support Policy. Total Staff and Residents are determined as of May 7, 2020. To demonstrate completion of testing, the facility must submit the attestation in Appendix A of MassHealth Nursing Facility Bulletin 146 by May 25, 2020. An administrator or other appropriate representative from each nursing facility must submit a signed and scanned copy of the executed attestation, via the CHIA submissions portal. The facility must also complete the CHIA webform for the baseline testing data points requested. A login is not required to access this portal. The portal is expected to go live this Wednesday, May 20th. At that time, please use the following process to submit the attestation:
Similar to the CHIA Weekly Report, the facility will then select its name from the provider list, and then upload the attestation form and complete the data points requested.