According to The Boston Herald article, Boston-area coronavirus wastewater levels are skyrocketing. Infections and hospitalizations have been spiking in Massachusetts for weeks. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported more than 5,000 daily cases last Thursday and Friday, which were the first days exceeding 5,000 infections since January.
Members are provided information on DPH Webinar: Ventilation Strategies to Reduce Spread of COVID-19, MassHealth billing guidance on weekend admissions rate add on, hospitals dispensing medications to discharged patients, state supported monoclonal antibody treatment sites in Massachusetts, and EOEA and DPH infection control webinar for assisted living residences.
We are saddened to share that Claire Wheeler, a former Vice President of Clinical Services at Mass Senior Care, recently passed away. A highly respected clinician, Claire retired from an accomplished career as a Chief Clinical Officer working for a number of long-term health care organizations both locally and nationally. During her retirement, Claire was the Chair of the Board of Directors for St. Joseph's Manor in Brockton.
Join the Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) and the MassCyberCenter on December 9 at 10:00 am for our monthly health care provider cybersecurity call. As always, we will be joined by Ron Ford – Cybersecurity Advisor for CISA New England and Sergeant Brian Gavioli of the Massachusetts State Police and Commonwealth Fusion Center, both of whom will provide updates on recent cyber threats and trends. The monthly discussion topic for this call will be cyber insurance.
MassHealth is committed to working with members and other stakeholders to address health inequities and eliminate disparities in health and healthcare. To help inform its approach to understanding and addressing these issues and related efforts, MassHealth has released two Requests for Information (RFIs):
CMS issued an 1135 waiver for 42 CFR 483.60(a)(1) and 483.60(a)(2) related to the Director of Food & Nutrition Services granting an extension on certain requirements that previously would have hit a deadline of this Sunday, November 28. 2021, and Mass Senior Care has been fielding questions from members regarding visitations and wanted to pass along that we have confirmed with DPH that residents and families eating together is still not allowed.
Join the Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) and the MassCyberCenter on December 9 at 10:00 am for our monthly health care provider cybersecurity call. As always, we will be joined by Ron Ford – Cybersecurity Advisor for CISA New England and Sergeant Brian Gavioli of the Massachusetts State Police and Commonwealth Fusion Center, both of whom will provide updates on recent cyber threats and trends. The monthly discussion topic for this call will be cyber insurance. These calls will continue to
At last week’s 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting, Tara Gregorio, President of Mass Senior Care Association, celebrated the long term care provider community’s achievements over the past year and shared the Association’s blueprint for helping members to address their persistent workforce challenges. “Today, I am extraordinarily proud and grateful to all of you to report that Massachusetts nursing facilities have achieved universal vaccination of our workforce with 98.3% of our staff vaccinated and 1.7% with approved declinations,” said Gregorio. ”This milestone is a direct testament to the hard work of nursing facility staff coming together to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their residents, each other and their families.”
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) today began releasing the $7.5 billion American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural Distribution, the Commission of Public Health issued COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Order No. 2021-14 and Guidance Regarding Non-Essential, Non-Urgent Scheduled Procedures for hospitals, and the Massachusetts Division of Insurance released a bulletin to all commercial insurers and HMOs on Relaxation of Prior Authorization and Credentialing Procedures in Response to Health Facility Staffing and Capacity Constraints.
As COVID-19 cases continue to sharply rise across the Commonwealth and with CMS identifying all counties at high transmission rates, Mass Senior Care strongly encourages long term care facilities to prioritize booster shots for all staff. Also, to better support members with their efforts to increase booster uptake rates, please take a minute to complete a very brief survey.
Secretary Marylou Sudders' letter to families of long-term care residents on celebrating Thanksgiving and winter holidays with their loved ones who reside in a long-term care facility, and MassHealth has issued a FAQ document regarding treatment of assets for LTC and LTSS MassHealth members during the Federal Public Health Emergency (FPHE).
Today, DPH released updated Comprehensive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidance, CMS and the CDC will hold a National Nursing Home Stakeholder call on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, 2:00 pm-3:00 pm ET, and Extension for Surveillance Testing Report due on Friday, November 26th.
On November 12, 2021, the Commissioner of Public Health issued Public Health Order No. 2021-13 which extends the authorizing of the issuance of temporary licenses for certain providers, and renewal or reactivation of certain temporary licenses.
CMS updated its guidance for nursing home visitation, CMS also released changes to COVID-19 survey activities to address the backlogs of complaint and recertification surveys, and DPH sent a memorandum to municipal and volunteer MA ambulance services that do not currently provide interfacility transfers (IFT).
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is participating in a regional containment webinar led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday November 15, 2021 from 10-11 am on C. Auris and Carbapenemase-producing Organism (CPO) Colonization Screening 101: Everything you need to know about colonization screening through the CDC's Antimicrobial Resistance Laboratory Network.
This week, DPH released updated guidance on COVID-19 Booster Dose Vaccination. Based on the CDC recommendations, the DPH is requesting that long-term care facilities work to ensure that all eligible residents and staff receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose no later than November 30, 2021. Mass Senior Care strongly supports this recommendation, since booster doses are necessary to support the sector’s sustained low re-infection rate.
The Commonwealth Institute and the Globe Magazine partner to name the most noteworthy companies and nonprofits helmed by women. Taken together, the 100 companies on the list represent a total revenue and operating budget of $66.6 billion. Mass Senior Care congratulates the leaders of the four member organizations included in this year’s list.
Thanks in part to grassroots advocacy efforts by Mass Senior Care members, The Lowell Sun and Sentinel & Enterprise last week featured editorials endorsing Mass Senior Care Association’s Nursing Facility Recovery & Sustainability Proposal which would provide vital investments for nursing facility residents and their dedicated caregivers.
Don’t miss Mass Senior Care Association’s 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 18, 2021. The Annual Meeting presents an opportunity for us to come together to demonstrate the resilience that keeps our community strong and focused on the care and wellbeing of our residents. Crucial to the care of our residents is a stable long term care workforce and it is critical that we remain focused on creating and maintaining quality jobs in order to retain and recruit staff.
Yesterday, DPH released updated guidance on COVID-19 Booster Dose Vaccination. Based on the CDC recommendations, the DPH is requesting that long-term care facilities work to ensure that all eligible residents and staff receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose no later than November 30, 2021, EOHHS implemented the Direct Care Cost Quotient (DCC-Q) measure in October 2020 (rate year 2021) as a replacement for the previous direct care add on reporting, requiring facilities to spend no less than 75% of total adjusted revenue on direct care staff through the DCC-Q, and reminder Mass Senior Care Association’s 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 18, 2021.
MassHealth new and revised billing guidance: Medicaid Transitional Rate Add On and Medicaid Temporary Rate Add On, and CMS issued a display copy of the agency’s final rule on payment policies for the calendar year (CY) 2022 under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.
The DPH administrative reconsideration for state fines, Mass Senior Care continues to work with transportation providers and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to support members facilities experiencing significant challenges in securing transportation services, DPH webinar on Utilizing Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutics in Long-term Care Facilities as a Tool to Prevent and Mitigate COVID-19 is now available, and Mass Senior Care Association’s 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 18, 2021.
Don’t miss the 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 18, 2021. The Annual Meeting presents an opportunity for us to come together to demonstrate the resilience that keeps our community strong and focused on the care and wellbeing of our residents. Crucial to the care of our residents is a stable long term care workforce and it is critical that we remain focused on creating and maintaining quality jobs in order to retain and recruit staff. To register for the 2021 Annual Meeting, please click here.
MSCA has received clarification from DPH that they are aligned with the CDC NHSN definition of HCP, CMS released an interim final rule requiring direct care workers in Medicare and Medicaid-certified health care settings to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and JVS Boston’s quarterly Economic Opportunity Forum scheduled for Monday, November 8th from 12-1pm.
Effective November 1, 2021, MassHealth has implemented updated eligibility policy guidance to expand coverage for members who are eligible for Family Assistance. Family Assistance members who require a nursing facility or chronic disease and rehabilitation hospital (CDRH) stay will now have a pathway to become eligible for both an expanded short-term stay beyond 100 days (less than six months), or long-term care (LTC).
Join the Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) and the MassCyberCenter, on November 10 as we discuss a case study on how an organization responded to and ameliorated a cyber threat. As always, we will be joined by Ron Ford – Cybersecurity Advisor for CISA New England and Lieutenant Brian Gavioli of the Massachusetts State Police and Commonwealth Fusion Center, both of whom will provide updates on recent cyber threats and trends.
The House of Representatives last night adopted its COVID-19 Recovery Act legislation, which includes important investments for nursing facility resident care and staff, DPH updated guidance on monoclonal antibody therapeutic, and DPH is hosting a webinar on Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutics to Prevent and Mitigate COVID-19 in LTCF.
DPH today issued a memorandum providing guidance on ‘good faith’ efforts for facilities to meet the April 30, 2022 regulatory resident bedroom 2-bed maximum requirement, and weekly surveillance testing reminder.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering an updated web-based training series on the assessment and coding of Section GG. This training is intended for providers in post-acute care (PAC) settings including Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs). It is designed to be used on demand anywhere you can access a browser.
Last week, CMS released a revised S&C: 17-15-LSC Use of the Fire Safety Evaluation System (FSES) memo. The revised memo grants a two-year extension to a specific group of existing Time Limited Waivers (TLW). This benefits providers who have historically utilized a Fire Safety Evaluation System (FSES) to show equivalent compliance with the Life Safety Code®, and to meet fire safety requirements for certification with Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Orientation sessions for the MassMAP will be held on Wednesday November 3, 2021, 10:00 – 11:30 AM or Thursday November 4, 2021, 1:00 – 2:30 PM. The orientation sessions are for new MassMAP members as well as staff who are not familiar with the MassMAP and/or the MassMAP website. In addition, anyone having difficulty completing emergency reporting during MassMAP activations should attend. Choose on session to attend:
The deadline for the Intent to Apply for the 2022 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program is November 11th! AHCA/NCAL encourages applicants who plan to apply for a Quality Award to submit an intent to apply by logging into the Quality Award Portal before the deadline on November 11, 2021. Applying for a National Quality Award provides a framework that can be used to prepare for and make critical improvements and serves as a team building activity to engage staff across all levels.
Based on their experience in the recent Mass Senior Care/HebrewSenior Life AHRQ ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network Training Center project, several facilitators collaborated on an article, Building community and resilience in Massachusetts nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Massachusetts Senior Care Association is pleased to be co-sponsoring JVS Boston’s quarterly Economic Opportunity Forum scheduled for Monday, November 8th from 12-1pm, the focus of the program will be Job Quality: An Equitable and Smart Strategy for Employers in This Tight Labor Market. Registration for the forum is FREE, followed by a 10-Day Job Quality Challenge.
The House of Representatives is continuing to debate amendments to H.4219, An Act Relative to Immediate COVID-19 Recovery Needs, utilizing funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the FY 2021 budget surplus. The House is expected to take action on the bill this week. Mass Senior Care need the continued support of the nursing facility community to contact their State Representatives to co-sponsor the two important nursing facility amendments, #203 and #845.