Members are informed HHS Acting Secretary Norris Cochran in a letter to state governors last week signaled that the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration will likely remain in place for the entirety of 2021, reminded about December 2020 surveillance payment, invited to register for Mass Senior Care’s educational webinars, and reminded of the DPH weekly call.
A memo on reporting possible adverse events post-vaccination, President Biden's National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, Executive Order on protecting worker health and safety, and Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Reporting Portal update.
To assist members in meeting their ongoing workforce needs and complying with the Commonwealth’s newly established staffing standard of 3.58 hours per patient day (HPPD), Mass Senior Care has developed several resources for members to consider when recruiting and retaining CNAs, nurses, and Resident Care Assistants (RCAs). These resources offer best practices Mass Senior Care has learned from other long term care provider members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Public Health (DPH) has implemented a new Determination of Need (DoN) Program Listserv. To subscribe to the listserv, copy and paste the following link into your preferred browser: https://www.mass.gov/don/listserv-enroll. Subscribing to this new email list will ensure your facility is kept up-to-date with DoN Program news and updates.
Mass Senior Care’s education programs will continue to be offered virtually for the next several months. Members receive discounted rates on all education programs/webinars, including partnership programs such as Harmony Healthcare. Please click on the links for each program to access the registration program or email email@example.com if you have any questions.
A memorandum on DPH therapeutic guidance for LTC facilities, HHS launch of the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Reporting Portal, Mass Senior Care's development of several resources for members to consider when recruiting and retaining CNAs, nurses, and Resident Care Assistants (RCAs), DPH Weekly Call, and CMS’ response to follow up questions related to the new COVID-19 ICD-10 Codes and Coding Guidance.
Announcement that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be amending the reporting timeline for the Provider Relief Fund Program (PRF) due to the recent passage of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.
Mass Senior Care Association’s weekly E-News Update and member communications are a benefit of your membership. To access Members Only content on www.maseniorcare.org, please log-in using your e-mail address and password. To reset your password, please click here. You will receive an email with instructions to reset your password. If you need help with accessing your member profile, please contact Loan Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the MSCA office at 617-558-0202.
On January 1, 2021, employees in Massachusetts may begin to apply for and receive paid leave under the state's new Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law. Employers are likely to have new responsibilities under the PFML law. Visit the Department of Family and Medical Leave website to learn more about employers’ responsibility.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar has extended the public health emergency (PHE) due to COVID-19 effective January 21. The PHE is issued in 90-day increments and is slated to expire in April 2021.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma has announced that the agency has withdrawn the proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule (MFAR) which would have had a devastating budgetary impact on states, including Massachusetts.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering two on-demand web-based training courses for Post-Acute Care Providers (Home Health Agencies (HHAs), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs), Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs), and Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs).
As a way of thanking nursing home workers for their extraordinary efforts during the pandemic, the Masconomet Red Cross Club raised $350 from students and parents to buy PPE for distribution to nursing facilities. The student club, based at Masconomet High School in Boxford, recently delivered masks, gloves, face shields and hand sanitizer to Mass Senior Care which will send it to facilities in need. We are very grateful for the efforts of the Masconomet Red Cross Club and appreciate their thoughtful gesture.
Mass Senior Care has developed A Guidebook: Building a CNA Talent Pipeline to support the efforts of nursing facility members to build CNA talent pipelines through developing facility-based training programs that use asynchronous instruction platforms and/or partnering with local CNA training providers. These pipeline strategies will enable facilities to expand career opportunities through training Resident Care Assistants (RCAs), Hospitality Aides or other entry-level staff to become CNAs.
This memorandum shares information on the SBA Payroll Protection Program, invites members to join CMS and CDC for a fireside chat on vaccine safety on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 4:00 pm ET and also discusses MassHealth updates to LTC eligibility application form (SACA-2).
Discussion on AG Healey advisory on stimulus payment, important change to NHSN point-of-care test reporting requirement, OSHA required 2020 injury and illness data due March 2, and HHS extention of public health emergency.
Now that we are nearing the end of the second week of the federal vaccination clinic rollout, nearly 320 facilities have successfully completed their first clinics and are reporting that these highly anticipated events are running smoothly. CVS and Walgreens have been conducting the clinics for both residents and staff and anticipate having all clinics completed by January 25, 2021.
Mass Senior Care is pleased to welcome new members to our Association. Our Associate Members have demonstrated their commitment to the senior care provider community by joining Mass Senior Care and participating as exhibitors and sponsors for events and educational conferences. Mass Senior Care members are encouraged to contact Associate Members when they are in need of long term care products and services. You can find all of our Associate Members listed on our website, www.maseniorcare.org/preferred-vendors.
Members are invited to join today’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Session with CMS and CDC, provided information on CMS revised criteria for conducting focused infection control surveys and survey FAQs, update to comprehensive PPE guidance, and clarification on reporting of BinaxNOW POC test results.
Information provided on the MassHealth Nursing Facility Bulletin 159 which updates the conditions for participating in the new targeted Isolation Space program, COVID-19 Long-Term Care Staffing Portal 3.0, COVID-19 Vaccination Criteria, and DPH Weekly Call new participant code.
Members are reminded the DPH Skilled Nursing Facilities Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Survey is due tomorrow, and updated on MassHealth Nursing Facility Bulletin 158: Updated COVID-19 Ongoing Surveillance Testing Requirements for Nursing Facilities which supersedes MassHealth Nursing Facility Bulletin 152.
Mass Senior Care is making resources available in its COVID-19 Vaccination Toolkit accessible to staff by providing materials in four different languages, including Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Haitian Creole and Traditional Chinese. All of the resources, including posters, a template letter to staff and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be accessed and downloaded from our COVID-19 Vaccination webpage, https://www.maseniorcare.org/covid-vaccine.
The National Health Care Safety Network (NHSN) has reported that there is an error occurring with data upload to the NHSN Long Term Care Facility modules. This has to do with an incorrect auto-populated date error. The CDC is urgently working to correct the NHSN application error that is impacting reporting COVID-19 data since December 26, 2020. When entering weekly COVID-19 data for the week of December 21-27, the pre-populated date for the week indicates that the week ends on December 27, 2021, instead of December 27, 2020. When trying to save data, the system generates an error message and will not allow facilities to save their data. A solution will be deployed in the NHSN application later this week, but until then a work-around can be used to continue reporting COVID-19 vaccination data.
Amidst celebratory backdrops, on December 28th more than 30 nursing facilities in Massachusetts began vaccinating residents and staff with the COVID-19 vaccine, offering a sign of hope to facilities that have courageously battled this insidious virus over the past 10 months. “Today marks a critical and hopeful milestone in our fight against Covid-19 with the first wave of vaccines being distributed in nursing facilities across the Commonwealth,” said Tara M. Gregorio, Mass Senior Care Association President.
The Massachusetts Congressional Delegation this week sent a letter, led by Congresswoman Lori Trahan, to the Director of the CDC requesting that the CDC approve the Commonwealth’s request to offer four vaccination clinics at long-term care facilities in Massachusetts through the Long-Term Care Pharmacy Partnership Program.
Members are asked to respond to MSCA vaccination clinic outreach, reminded about the definition of staff for vaccination, given information on BinaxNOW Rapid Point of Care COVID-19 Testing for ALR, and invited to register for today’s COVID-19 vaccine safety chat with AHCA, CMC and the CDC.
Memo shares information on a provider experience with COVID-19 vaccination clinic, BinaxNOW guidance for LTC facilities, EOHHS final October 2020 Medicaid Rate regulation with modifications, HHS update of the Provider Relief Fund FAQ, and provides a reminder about the DPH weekly call.
Member COVID-19 updates on MassHealth 2nd Room Density Report due 12/31/2020; MassHealth increasing supplemental payment for the new targeted Isolation Space Program; new DPH webpage for COVID-19 guidance for LTC facilities; healthcare license renewals extended; additional CDC resources on COVID-19 vaccination, and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet.
DPH released updated Guidance Regarding Seasonal Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel at Massachusetts Nursing Homes and Rest Homes for the 2020-2021 Season and MassHealth has issued Eligibility Operations Memo (EOM) 20-21 Level-of-Care Screening Process.
This memo shares information on COVID-19 vaccination materials available in four languages, reminds members to update November Surveillance testing payments with CHIA, and provides a corrected link for assisted living CLIA waivers.
Member updates on Congress passing a $900 billion stimulus package, new rate for staff surveillance testing, CDC releases additional guidance on COVID-19 vaccination in long-term care facilities, OSHA releases resource for understanding compliance with OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard, county positivity rates >10% in Bristol & Nantucket counties, MassHealth issues bulletin on Coverage and Payment for COVID-19 Vaccine Administration, Testing, and Monoclonal Antibody Product Infusion, and DPH weekly call reminder.
A memo reminding members about the Town Hall Meeting tonight with EOHHS Secretary Marylou Sudders, the CMS-CDC Nursing Home Stakeholder Call scheduled for tomorrow and to order BinaxNow test kits from DPH.
This memorandum shares information on the confirmation of verbal consent from Walgreens and CVS, a COVID-19 Town Hall Meeting for Nursing Home Workers, Emergency Use Authorization Fact Sheet for COVID-19 in multiple languages, BinaxNow Test Kits and a COVID-19 vaccine presentation.
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President Re: COVID-19 Updates: DPH Releases Guidance on Considerations for HCP After COVID-19 Vaccination; Mass Senior Care Shares COVID-19 Vaccine Resources, and CHIA Reporting Extensions During the Holiday Season Date: December 17, 2020 DPH Releases Guidance on Considerations for Health Care Personnel After COVID-19 Vaccination The DPH has released guidance on Considerations for Health Care Personnel After COVID-19 Vaccination. Health care personnel may experience side effects following COVID-19 vaccination. Providers
To assist members with talking to long term care staff, residents, and family members about the importance of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, Mass Senior Care has created a new campaign “Arming Ourselves Against COVID-19”. The campaign’s dedicated webpage at www.maseniorcare.org/covid-vaccine has resources related to the COVID-19 vaccine including links to information about vaccine allocation, safety and efficacy, as well as tools to prepare your vaccination clinics.
It is hard to imagine long term care staff having the time or energy to do much of anything beyond their workday after dealing with the extraordinary demands of caring for residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. But more than 75 individuals submitted applications for the 2021 Mass Senior Care Foundation Scholarship program, a testament to the commitment and dedication of our caregiving staff.
Information is provided on consents required by CVS and Walgreens for the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommendations on post-vaccine considerations for residents, additional tools and resources offered by DPH and Provider Relief Fund FAQs for vaccine distribution.