To: Mass Senior Care Members
From: Tara M. Gregorio, President
Re: COVID-19 Updates: REDCap Reporting Deadline Today; HHS Provider Relief Funds for Nursing Homes; Nursing Facility Surveillance Testing Providers
Date: August 10, 2020
Deadline Today: REDCap/Chapter 93 Reporting
Please note the deadline for the REDCap/Chapter 93 reporting is today, August 10th at 11:59 p.m. On July 29th, DPH issued a new link to the REDCap reporting system (https://redcap.link/Chapter93ElderFacilitiesV2) and an updated user’s guide. The recommended web browser for the reporting system is Google Chrome. If your facility is experiencing issues, please email DPH at DPH.BHCSQ@MassMail.State.MA.US and share your comments with Mass Senior Care at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HHS Announces Allocations of CARES Act Provider Relief
Fund for Nursing Homes – Additional $5 Billion
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced, via a press release, the details of the next CARES Act-authorized nursing home Provider Relief Fund (PRF) distribution. The distribution will total approximately $5 billion and is designed to be used to protect residents of nursing homes from the impact of COVID-19. The funds will be distributed as follows:
- $2.5 Billion/General distribution – CMS will be distributing $2.5 billion within the next 10 to 14 days. The funds will be allocated based on bed count and if the facility has received from CMS an antigen testing machine. Massachusetts nursing facilities have not yet received antigen testing machines and can therefore anticipate an estimated payment of $170,000. Facilities that have received an antigen testing machine will receive an estimated $90,000. The funds should be carefully accounted for and must be used to support increased testing, staffing, and PPE needs.
- $2 Billion/Value Based Performance (VBP) distribution – CMS will establish 4 separate monthly payments of $500 million per month. Facilities will or will not receive payments based on a facility’s infection rate for that month compared to the infection rate in the nursing facility’s local geography. Covid-positive patients admitted from the hospital will not count towards determining the facility’s infection rate. CMS will determine infection rates based on data reported into the NHSN. These performance-based distribution payments are expected to begin in the Fall. The specific distribution method to be used by CMS has not been issued, but the payments may vary based on the overall prevalence of the virus in the state (higher payments are expected to be distributed in so-called hot-spot states).
- $250 Million for Covid Units and Dedicated Facilities – CMS has also announced funding for facilities that establish Covid-units or Covid dedicated facilities. We anticipate more information will be announced on the distribution of these funds in the next couple of days, but CMS has indicated that the funds would be used prospectively. AHCA is advocating that the funds be used both prospectively and retrospectively for facilities that have existing units or dedicated facilities.
- $250 Million For Collaborative Approaches working with outside groups to mitigate the virus. CMS has not announced distribution details yet but we hope to know more soon.
AHCA will have a member call on Thursday, August 13th at 3:00 p.m. to provide a further update on the upcoming COVID-19 distributions to nursing facilities from the HHS Provider Relief Fund. Please click here to register.
Nursing Facility Surveillance Testing Providers
Long term care facilities may partner or contract with hospitals, community health centers, ambulance/emergency medical services providers, clinical laboratories, or other entities able to provide COVID-19 testing services. In an effort to support members with surveillance staff testing, Mass Senior Care has established a list of testing providers, and we will continue to update this list:
- Pro EMS Solutions and The Broad Institute – Mass Senior Care has worked with Pro EMS Solutions and The Broad Institute to establish a program for long term care providers to access kits, processing, and results. Mass Senior Care members can access in-house collection for $60/test. The Broad’s testing turnaround capability provides results usually within 24-36 hours. See more information at http://proemssolutions.com/covid-19-testing/.
- Concentric by Ginkgo – A saliva-based testing service - including kits, shipping logistics, processing, results, and the option for on-site coordination. This is available to Mass Senior Care members at $100/test. For more information, please see https://www.concentricbyginkgo.com/.