Secretary of Health and Human Services renewed the ongoing federal Public Health Emergency effective July 20, 2021, DPH released updated guidance on the implementation of the Order of the Commissioner of Public Health regarding Control of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities, additional measures to prevent Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission in long-term care facilities in Barnstable County, and temporary licenses granted to nurses during the COVID-19 public health emergency will expire on September 15, 2021.
AHCA will be having Part 2 of their Food and Nutrition Survey webinar on August 12th. This presentation identifies top citations in food and nutrition services including recent F880 Infection Control tags. As states open up annual surveys, this presentation gives you the tools to be ready. Registration is only available to AHCA/NCAL members.
Governor Charlie Baker is currently reviewing the FY 2022 budget recommendation. Please urge Governor Baker to sign into law two important nursing facility provisions in Medicaid Line Item 4000-0601 which would set Medicaid nursing facility rates using more current 2019 costs and provide an rate add-on for nursing facilities caring for over 75% of Medicaid residents. Take Action Now!
Register for Mass Senior Care's upcoming DNS Strategies for Success: Building Nursing Leadership series and the Living Life to the End with Dignity, Respect and Understanding series for long term care staff. Don't miss these programs!
The Legislature yesterday adopted its FY 2022 budget recommendation and Mass Senior Care is pleased to report that the Legislature has recommended appropriating additional funding to set Medicaid nursing facility rates using calendar year 2019 costs and to provide an additional rate add on for facilities with a disproportionate share of Medicaid residents totaling over 75%.
DPH released clinical guidance regarding management of COVID-19 recovered individuals in long-term care facilities, non-acute hospitals and other congregate facilities who test positive again more than 3 months after their original symptom onset or original positive test, CMS released minor updates to is Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment FAQs, and a reminder about the DPH Monthly Call.
On May 28, 2021, the Commonwealth enacted a COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave law, and the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing has scheduled a virtual hearing on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 11:00am.
Patient Safety Beat is a monthly email newsletter from the Betsy Lehman Center, a state agency working to improve health care safety across Massachusetts. Recent stories highlight timely issues such as vaccination efforts in long-term care, visitation policies during and after the pandemic, and peer support for patients and families.
On June 30, 2021, a memorandum issued by EOEA Secretary Dr. Elizabeth Chen, provided an update on the free, online training course for providers to prevent and eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
This week, Mass Senior Care members, Legacy Lifecare and Sherrill House, announced their organizations will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Legacy Lifecare operates a network of not-for-profit organizations including Chelsea Jewish Lifecare of Chelsea and Peabody, JGS Lifecare of Longmeadow, Deutsches Altenheim of West Roxbury, and Elizabeth Seton Residence and Marillac Residence of Wellesley. And, Sherrill House is a not-for-profit skilled nursing facility and rehabilitation center in Boston.
MassHealth has created two grids as a resource for nursing facility providers in regard to MassHealth eligibility, and the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Reporting Portal is now open for providers to report fund use for April 10, 2020 through June 30, 2020.
The Department of Public Health has indicated that an increasing number of nursing facilities are failing to both report weekly to CHIA on surveillance testing and failing to test 90% of unvaccinated staff, Mass Senior Care would like to remind nursing facilities that the use of face masks for source control is still required by the DPH, and register for July 13th OSHA Webinar.
The Joint Committee on Elder Affairs yesterday held a public hearing on 18 bills related to long term care facilities, many of which proposed higher minimum staffing requirements, care team planning requirements, new technology standard to foster communication between residents and their loved ones, new square footage requirements, and changes in suitability requirements for ownership changes, and a workforce survey.
Yesterday, Tom Lavallee, Mass Senior Care’s Board Chair and COO of Alliance Health Management, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Polar Park in Worcester. The LTC Appreciation Night at the Worcester Red Sox game was hosted by ProCare LTC Pharmacy, a Mass Senior Care Associate Member. The great event was attended by over 100 long term care leaders and professionals across the State.
Mass Senior Care would like to remind nursing facilities that the use of face masks for source control is still required by the DPH regulation. The updates to the DPH Guidance for Caring for Residents during the COVID-19 Response includes the following:
Brighten A Day Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which lifts the spirits of nursing facility and assisted living residents by sending them love, hope, and joy through cards, letters, gifts, conversations, video messages, devices, care packages, and more. During her freshman year of high school, Hita Gupta started Brighten A Day which has now grown into a national organization with thousands of volunteers of all ages from locations across the country. To date, Brighten A Day has brought smiles to
Meet Seana Hall who is one of the 45,000 dedicated caregivers providing care and vital companionship to the Commonwealth’s nursing home residents. Seana has recently been promoted from Activities Director to Director of Admissions at Briarwood Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Needham. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Seana implemented creative activities to ensure residents living at Briarwood had a sense of normalcy and stayed connected with their family members and loved ones, including dance parties, bingo in the hallway, and a
The new AHRQ Toolkit to Improve Antibiotic Use in Long-Term Care offers a step-by-step approach to help facilities start or revitalize an antibiotic stewardship program. Using the Four Moments of Antibiotic Decision Making, facilities can identify critical time periods to help prescribers make decisions about antibiotic therapy.
Fully vaccinated Massachusetts residents can register to win cash prizes or college scholarships in the state’s VaxMillions Giveaway starting on Thursday, July 1st. Fully vaccinated Massachusetts residents who are 18 and older can enter the giveaway to win one of five $1 million cash prizes, and residents ages 12-17 can enter to win one of five $300,000 college scholarships in the form of a 529 college savings plan, per the giveaway rules. To promote the Mass VaxMillions Giveaway in your facility, download a promotional flyer which you can print and post in your facility.
For the first time in 50 years the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) to address exposure to COVID-19 to workers in health care settings. Although temporary, the standard will be enforced effective July 6, 2021, and fully enforced on July 21, 2021.
In honor of National Nursing Assistant Week on June 17-24, Rose Marie Pardo, resident at Hancock Park Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Quincy, calls for legislation and funding to pay CNAs a living wage. Her op-ed, CNAs are heroes: It’s time to pay them a living wage, was published in The Patriot Ledger last week.
The Baker Administration today announced that effective July 1st the weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report will be discontinued, and MassHealth issued a reminder that it is in the process of making numerous patient paid amount (PPA) adjustments for the period April 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020 for MassHealth members and requested that facilities do not make any changes to a MassHealth member’s PPA until you receive a Notice of Financial Liability (NFL) notice.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) to address exposure to COVID-19 to workers in health care settings, CMS issued an updated memo (QSO-20-41-ALL) this week that provides new guidance around when an inpatient provider may be exempted from its next required full-scale exercise, the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) will make multiple updates and modifications to reporting modules, and Mass Senior Care shares CNA training opportunities.
Yesterday the DPH issued updated Comprehensive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidance. It is expected that these changes are implemented no later than July 1, 2021. Mass Senior Care recommends members review the guidance closely.
Today, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) announced the 2021 Silver - Achievement in Quality award recipients. This year, 50 skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), 13 assisted living communities (ALs), and one SNF/AL in 28 states achieved the Silver Award. Two Mass Senior Care member facilities have been recognized this year, including Charlene Manor Extended Care Facility in Greenfield and Sunrise of Wayland in Wayland.
CMS has updated the Focused Infection Control and Standard Survey tools, MassHealth today issued a reminder that it is in the process of making numerous patient paid amount (PPA) adjustments for MassHealth members and requests that facilities do not make any changes to a MassHealth member’s PPA until you receive a Notice of Financial Liability (NFL) notice, and EOHHS has indicated that there will be no reduction in facility revenue for Medicaid residents impacted by this PPA change.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is investing in workforce grants in critical sectors, including health care, to prepare individuals to secure employment, support their families, and contribute to the state’s post-pandemic economic recovery. If you have questions about these programs or want assistance developing a training pipeline strategy to meet your CNA hiring needs, please contact Jennifer Chen, Director of Membership.
The Conference Committee is currently reconciling the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget recommendations of the House and Senate. Mass Senior Care has contacted the Conferees to urge them to include in the final Conference report (1) an update to the MassHealth nursing facility funding formula using 2019 costs and (2) a rate add-on for facilities that care for a disproportionate share of MassHealth nursing facility residents. These two sections would continue to build upon the Legislature’s efforts to modernize and stabilize the nursing facility sector by better recognizing current care costs, in order to make necessary investments in our workforce and improve resident experience and quality outcomes.
The state’s largest hospital systems announced today that they will mandate all of their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, once a vaccine is approved by the FDA which is expected soon. Leaders of Mass General Brigham, Beth Israel Lahey Health, and Wellforce told their workers that requiring vaccination for employees is critical for protecting vulnerable patients.
Publicly available data on NHSN show 87% of nursing facility residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19, ranking 9th in the nation. And 69.2% of nursing facility staff have been vaccinated, ranking 8th in the nation. Mass Senior Care Association continues to work with our member long term care facilities to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among residents and staff. Achieving a high rate of resident and staff vaccinations is critical to our fight against COVID-19 and ensuring the safety of our residents and the entire caregiving team.
CNA Training Opportunities The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is investing in workforce grants in critical sectors, including health care, to prepare individuals to secure employment, support their families, and contribute to the state’s post-pandemic economic recovery. If you have questions about these programs or want assistance developing a training pipeline strategy to meet your CNA hiring needs, please contact Jennifer Chen, Director of Membership. Rapid Reemployment Program Grant Program Last week Governor Baker announced the first round of grant funding through
DPH is transitioning its weekly COVID-19 resources conference call for nursing homes and rest homes instead to a once-per-month call, the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) will hold a virtual Town Hall event today from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (ET), and Mass Senior Care Association has a small inventory of KN95 masks available to facilities free of charge.
Updated Guidance on Use and Allowable Wastage of COVID-19 Vaccine; EOHHS Issues Initial HCBS Spending Plan for Use of Federal American Rescue Plan Act Funding; DPH Updates Guidance on Determining Inadequate Staffing Factor; Important Update on Verbal Consent on MOLST Form; LTC Staffing Portal to Close by June 30th; Reminder: AHCA/NCAL to Host Virtual Town Hall for Long Term Care Staff on COVID-19 Vaccine.
The Governor signed into law legislation that extends certain COVID-19 pandemic waivers including Mass Senior Care’s language extending the authorization allowing nursing practice by nursing school graduates and students in their final semester of nursing education, the current Massachusetts Travel Advisory allows fully vaccinated people to resume activities as pre-pandemic and recommends that people follow the CDC guidance on travel, and on June 16, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) to address exposure to COVID-19 to workers in healthcare settings.
The Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech is seeking digital health startups with solutions for unpaid family caregivers to compete in the Massachusetts Digital Health COVID-19 Recovery Challenge. The Challenge is focused on finding solutions for unpaid caregivers who provide support to loved ones outside of traditional child rearing. Challenge finalists will compete for prizes worth $250,000 The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened our awareness of the critical role family caregivers play in our society and the ways they impact our healthcare
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission earlier this week issued its annual report on issues affecting the Medicare program and the healthcare delivery system. The report included a recommendation to Congress that it should eliminate Medicare’s current skilled nursing facility (SNF) value-based purchasing program (VBP) that relies on one measure (hospital readmissions) and establish a new SNF value incentive program based on a series of measures, including:
On June 10 the Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) and the MassCyberCenter, in collaboration with Massachusetts Senior Care Association, hosted the first in a series of monthly healthcare cybersecurity calls centered around the current threat landscape and best practices for organizations across the healthcare provider landscape. Representatives from over 17 distinct organizations, with expertise ranging from direct patient care to the management of IT and security infrastructure, met to discuss the federal and regional cybersecurity challenges with Ron Ford – Cybersecurity Advisor for CISA New England; Sergeant Brian Gavioli of the Massachusetts State Police and Commonwealth Fusion Center; and Amber Debole – CISO for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services.
AHCA/NCAL will hold a virtual town hall event for long term care staff to get more information about the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, from 4:30pm ET to 5:30pm ET as part of its nationwide #GetVaccinated campaign. The event is open to all staff and is free to attend. Click HERE to register. It will also be livestreamed on AHCA/NCAL’s Facebook page.
US Department of Health and Humans Services’ We Can Do This campaign is a national initiative working hand in hand with trusted leaders and community organizations to continue to build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and get more people vaccinated. This campaign offers tailored resources and toolkits for stakeholders to use to provide COVID-19 vaccine information to at-risk populations.