The State Senate is deliberating on the COVID-19 recovery bill today, following initial passage in the House of Representatives last week. The bill would (1) freeze unemployment insurance rates for 2 years and avoid planned rate increases for 2021 and 2022, (2) provide for state tax exemption on any forgiven loans that small businesses received last year through the federal Paycheck Protection Program and (3) establish a new emergency COVID-19 paid leave program with up to one week of coverage (40 hours for FTE).
The Senate Finance Committee yesterday held a public hearing on the impact of COVID-19 on nursing homes, with a broad range of witnesses from academia, government agencies (GAO) and advocacy organizations (SEIU, AARP, Ombudsman) and AHCA. Testimony and Senate questions focused primarily on the adequacy of staffing levels, ownership structure and data transparency.
A notice to members that the updated Surveillance Testing Guidance released by DPH on March 12, 2021 includes the requirement that individuals more than 6 months from the date of original infection be included in surveillance testing, Mass Senior Care is offering members a free informational session regarding details about CNA training opportunities and the next weekly DPH call with providers is scheduled for Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 11:00 a.m.
An announcement to members that AHCA/NCAL will host a webinar on Tuesday, March 16 at 2PM Eastern to brief members on a co-branded AHCA/NCAL and LeadingAge reform proposal and a reminder about nursing home residents, medicaid, and stimulus checks.
In recognition of Long-Term Care Administrator's Week, Mass Senior Care extends our gratitude and appreciation to all long-term care administrators. We thank you for commitment to providing excellent quality of care and quality of life for the elderly and disabled individuals living in our communities.
Meet David Gachanja, one of the 50,000 dedicated caregivers on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic protecting vulnerable nursing home residents. David is a Certified Nursing Assistant at Beaumont Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Worcester and has been a CNA for over 20 years.
Through a moderator led discussion, Cassandra Tribe-Scott will explore the various ways that the pandemic and other aspects of social unrest have and continue to effect long term care staff. Ms. Scott will introduce customizable tools for nursing facility leaders as they provide continued support to staff in the management of their emotional well-being in a post-COVID-19 environment. Register today.
Nursing facilities that are experiencing difficulty securing chair car services may be able to access transportation for MassHealth residents through this program. MassHealth provides non-emergency medical transportation for both ambulatory and non-ambulatory MassHealth members living in the community who are going to MassHealth-covered medical services.
The Commonwealth has revised travel restrictions for individuals that are fully vaccinated. Individuals who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Janssen vaccine, more than 14 days ago and who do not have symptoms, do not need to obtain a negative test prior to traveling to, or quarantine upon arrival to, Massachusetts.
Information on CMS release of revised guidance on nursing home visitation during the continued COVID-19 pandemic, an invitation to register for today’s CMS national nursing home stakeholder call and an update on Massachusetts travel restrictions for individuals fully vaccinated.
An announcement that the Massachusetts Public Health Council voted to approve the proposed revisions to 105 CMR 150.00 Standards for Long-Term Care Facilities and MSCA is offering virtual sessions on meeting staff needs for trauma informed care & support in 2021.
Information about AHCA/NCAL campaign to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among long term care staff, MSCA offering virtual sessions on meeting staff needs for trauma informed care and support in 2021 and a reminder about the weekly DPH call.
CNA Training Opportunities Available The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has made available focused workforce grants to critical sectors including the health care community in order to prepare individuals to secure employment, support their families, and contribute to the state’s post-pandemic economic recovery. There are several funding sources and grant opportunities to train Certified Nursing Assistants. The following programs offer opportunities for nursing facilities to hire newly trained CNAs, create career pathways for Resident Care Assistants, and/or forge partnerships with local training
Information is shared with members on AHCA/NCAL new guidance on accessing COVID-19 vaccine in long term care after the LTC Pharmacy Partnership Program is completed and MassHealth to End 2nd Isolation Space Program on March 31, 2021.
Last week, Massachusetts legislators filed over 6,000 bills to be debated during the 2021-2022 legislative session, including important nursing home legislation, which would provide further support for quality nursing facility care. Please join Mass Senior Care in urging legislators to prioritize nursing home care in the legislative session. Take action now by clicking here to email or call your state senator and representative to ask them to sign on as co-sponsor to the following bills.
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.
At a young age, Guylen [Gilly] Muzac’s heart was set on becoming a nurse after watching her aunt receive tremendous nursing care. For the past 14 years, Guylene has worked on the Alzheimer’s/Dementia Unit at Sherril House in Boston. Recently she has been working as a Resident Care Manager, where she continues to make a positive difference.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering a web-based training that provides an overview of the assessment and coding of the standardized patient assessment data elements (SPADEs) related to falls in Section J: Health Conditions.
Massachusetts Senior Care Association is excited to participate in the upcoming observance of National Skilled Nursing Care Week (NSNCW), which will be held May 9-15, 2021. This year's theme, "Together Through the Seasons," will honor the collaborative commitment of skilled nursing care facilities and their staff in providing compassionate care to their residents during this unprecedented time.
Mass Senior Care would like to alert long-term care facilities to a change in the Long-term Care Facility Licensure Renewal Application. The Department of Public Health will accept and process a long-term care facility license renewal application only if the application is completed and executed by an “Applicant” as defined in 105 CMR 153.004 (for example, an owner or executive officer of the licensee).
Notice regarding The Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety is offering a free six-week support group for nurses working with COVID-19 patients in any health care setting and a reminder about the weekly DPH call.
The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care is now accepting nominations for its 2021 National Compassionate Caregivers of the Year Award. The National Compassionate Caregivers of the Year (NCCY) Award recognizes extraordinary healthcare professionals from across the country who embody the characteristics of compassionate care, and whose professional achievements have helped to create healing healthcare environments for patients, families, colleagues, and communities.
Tara Gregorio, President of Mass Senior Care earlier this month testified before the Massachusetts Health Equity Task Force. The Task Force, established by state law, is charged with making short and long term recommendations to the Legislature that address health disparities for underserved or underrepresented populations.
In response to a statement released yesterday by Mass Senior Care Association (MSCA), The Boston Herald and many other news outlets across the state shared the news that “Encouraging data released today by the Massachusetts Senior Care Association show nursing homes in Massachusetts have made significant strides in mitigating the spread of, and preventing deaths from, the COVID-19 virus. The data also show that prioritizing nursing home residents and staff for the vaccine rollout is working exceedingly well.”
This memorandum addresses EOHHS update to the LTC Family Communication Letter, provides reminders about the DCC-Q filing due on March 1, 2021 and the DPH weekly call, also discusses how to request an extended repayment schedule in follow up to the recent update on Medicare Advance and Accelerated Payments (AAP).
An update on Executive Office of Health & Human Services (EOHHS) release of a Family Communication, “COVID-19 Prevention Protocols Post Vaccination" and MassHealth All-Provider Transportation Provider Bulletin in regard to transportation for members to vaccination sites for COVID-19 vaccine administration.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
As part of Mass Senior Care Association’s Arming Ourselves Against COVID-19 campaign, we continue to provide new educational materials regarding the COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy available in multiple languages to ensure trusted information is accessible to long term care staff, residents and their family members. New educational videos in Haitian Creole, Cantonese and Mandarin featuring Christine Pierre, MD and Robert Wu, MD are now available for Mass Senior Care members to use to help communicate facts about the COVID-19
This week, the Boston Herald published an article, Massachusetts nursing homes report dramatic drop in coronavirus death rate since vaccine rollout. “The virus death rate and case counts at nursing homes have significantly declined, a “very encouraging” trend that shows the vax working for the high-risk group that received it first, doctors tell the Herald.”
EOHHS issued Administrative Bulletin 21-02 to set forth the compliance criteria, reporting requirements, penalty amount, and recovery and referral procedures for the nursing facility direct care cost quotient and EOHHS has posted a recording of yesterday’s DCC-Q webinar on its website.