To: Mass Senior Care Members
From: Tara M. Gregorio, President
Re: COVID-19 Updates: MassHealth COVID-19 Filing Reminder; DPH Guidance for Anterior Nares (Nasal Swab) Specimen Collection by Unlicensed Healthcare Personnel; CMS Rescinds Proposed MFAR Rule; Final Chance to Register for This Week’s Webinars
Date: September 21, 2020
REMINDER: (1) Final Filing for the MassHealth COVID-19
Supplemental Payment and (2) UPDATED FAQ
EOHHS has issued a reminder that the Final Filing for the Nursing Facility COVID-19 Supplemental Payment is due no later than September 30, 2020, to account for the manner in which the MassHealth COVID-19 Supplemental Initial Payment for the Up to 50% Program was spent, which provided up to $130 million. The form may be accessed at: http://www.uenter.org/nf. EOHHS will consider the entire amount of the Final Payment unspent if the facility fails to submit the final report timely and it will recoup all funds.
Also, the agency has updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document by adding question 25 to clarify the reporting of COVID testing expenses, and question 26 to clarify the reporting of the full-time-equivalents (FTEs).
- COVID 19 Supplemental Funding Final Filing Form Instructions,
- UPDATED Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Hard Copy Excel Worksheet form for internal use (facilities must file the official Final Form on line). Please note that all sections of schedules A and B of the form are required to be completed.
Please contact NFReporting@umassmed.edu if you have further questions in regard to filing the Final Financial Report.
Anterior Nares (Nasal Swab) Specimen Collection by Unlicensed Healthcare Personnel
Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality has released guidance for anterior nares (nasal swab) specimen collection for COVID-19 testing. All personnel performing specimen collection should be trained and demonstrate competency to be able to safely collect specimens, and all personnel must follow all necessary guidelines to ensure the safety of both themselves and the patient. Unlicensed personnel, such as nurse aides and medical assistants, may perform anterior nasal specimen collection but should have training and oversight is required. However, only licensed healthcare personnel with appropriate training and competency can perform a nasopharyngeal specimen collection for COVID-19 testing purposes.
CMS Rescinds Proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule (MFAR)
CMS Administrator Seema Verma last week announced via Twitter that CMS was rescinding the proposed MFAR Rule. Issued in December 2019, MFAR would have had a devastating impact on numerous states, including Massachusetts, due to potential changes in Medicaid financing related to intergovernmental transfers and user fees. In announcing this change, Administrator Verma stated that “We’ve listened closely to concerns that have been raised by our state and provider partners about potential unintended consequences of the proposed rule, which require further study. Therefore, CMS is withdrawing the rule from the regulatory agenda.” MSCA thanks members for their advocacy in regard to this issue.
Final Chance to Register for This Week’s Webinars
Presented by Mass Senior Care's Quality Leader Sponsor: HealthPRO Heritage
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
1:00pm - 2:00pm
As we prepare for a potential second surge of COVID-19 in our country, it is important that nursing homes have an outbreak management plan incorporated into their existing infection control policies and procedures. The goal of an outbreak management plan is to prevent outbreaks and limit the spread and impact of any that occur. It ensures there are clear protocols in place to respond effectively to any type of outbreak (COVID-19, flu, et.al).
Join us for this one-hour presentation to review the components necessary for an effective outbreak management plan.
Please click here to register.
Thursday, September 24, 2020 - Rescheduled Date
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Many facilities in MA were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and did not have time to properly prepare for the disruption in facility operations this pandemic has presented. To prepare for the predicted surge in COVID-19 cases this fall, it’s time for facilities to review and revise their Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP). Join us for this one-hour presentation on reviewing and revising important aspects of your COOP with a focus on staffing plans during a pandemic.
Please click here to register.