As part of CMS recently announced $5 billion investment package for skilled nursing facility, $250 million of this funding will be allocated for the National Nursing Home COVID-19 Safety Program led by Project ECHO. The MSCA/HSL Command Center is participating in this CMS funded initiative by establishing local learning hubs. Nursing facilities interested in participating can enroll by completing the enclosed participation form.
Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Provider Preview Reports have been updated and are now available. The data contained within the Preview Reports is based on quality data submitted by SNFs between Q1 2019 – Q4 2019 and Q4 2017 and Q3 2019. The data reflects what will be published on Nursing Home Compare during the October 2020 refresh of the website. Providers have until August 30, 2020 to review their performance data.
Over the course of the past several months, Mass Senior Care has been the recipient of donated items from both Amazon and Gillette, including Amazon Fire Tablets and Gillette Treo Razors. If your facility is interested in receiving either a tablet or a supply of the razors, please send an email to email@example.com.
CMS has indicated that the use of the renewed Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN), Form CMS-R-131 form with the expiration date of 06/30/2023 will be mandatory on 8/31/2020. However, CMS just announced that due to COVID-19 concerns, CMS has extended the deadline for use of the renewed ABN, Form CMS-R-131 (exp. 6/30/2023).
The National Quality Award Program is pleased to announce that the 2021 application packets are now available online. Please visit the Bronze, Silver, or Gold application pages to download your respective award level application materials and to learn how your center should begin preparing.
The CDC will provide updates to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for the 2020-2021 influenza vaccination season. Topics will include the Standards for Adult Immunization Practice, flu vaccination planning, general vaccination guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, and guidance for large vaccination clinics held in satellite, temporary, or off-site locations.
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President Re: COVID-19 Updates: DPH Releases Updated Testing Guidance; National CMS/CDC Nursing Home COVID-19 Training Date: August 13, 2020 DPH Releases Updated Testing Guidance On August 7, the DPH released updated Testing Guidance. The updated guidance includes recommendations on the use of antigen testing as well as revisions to testing of previously positive individuals cleared from isolation. National CMS/CDC Nursing Home COVID-19 Training Topic: Transparency: Resident and Family Notification, Department
The Massachusetts Senior Care Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2020/2021 awards. The scholarships will assist long term care staff in meeting their personal and professional goals through furthering their education. Apply for a Foundation scholarship today!
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President RE: COVID-19 Updates: Weekly Call Reminders Date: August 11, 2020 DPH Weekly Call Reminder The next weekly call with providers is scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. These calls will include members of DPH’s Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, and Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management. This call is intended for long-term care facilities caring for
Memorandum 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
Twenty-four Mass Senior Care member facilities received the 2020 Bronze – Commitment to Quality and one member received the Silver – Achievement in Quality Award by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program provides a pathway for providers of long term and post-acute care services to journey towards performance excellence. The program is based on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.
Fourth quarter FY 2019 Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Reports (PEPPERs) are available for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs). These reports summarize provider-specific data statistics for Medicare services that may be at risk for improper payments.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a 4-page SNF COVID-19 PHE Tip Sheet. This tip sheet is designed to assist Skill Nursing Facility (SNF) providers in understanding the status of the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP) during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).
On July 31, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final rule for the skilled nursing facility (SNF) prospective payment system (PPS) governing Medicare rates for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2021 (October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021). CMS projects that aggregate Medicare program payments to SNFs will increase by 2.2 percent, for FY 2021 compared to FY 2020.
HealthPRO Heritage, Mass Senior Care’s Clinical Quality Leader will be having a timely discussion to uncovers best practices for leveraging 1135 waivers. Key takeaways to include tactical and strategic considerations to drive your community's financial & clinical outcomes.
An op-ed, “The coronavirus quarantine problem for travelers and nursing homes,” authored by Simon Johnson, Dr. Sanjat Kanjilal, and Dr. Larissa Lucas was published in The Boston Globe this week. The authors of the op-ed continue to work closely with Mass Senior Care on a number of strategies and policies related to infection control, testing and PPE procurement.
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President Re: COVID-19 Updates: PBJ Reporting: Staffing Data Can Include Hours Provided by State Clinical Swat Teams; REDCap Link for Survey and Additional Questions; New Participant Code for Tomorrow’s DPH Call Date: August 4, 2020 Payroll Based Journal Reporting: Staffing Data from National Guard Can Be Input In June, CMS ended the blanket waiver of the requirement for nursing homes to submit staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) System
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President Re: COVID-19 Updates: DPH Extends Deadline for Reporting of Historical Data; DPH Updates Memo on Defining Aerosol Generating Procedures and Recommended PPE; Reminder for Weekly DPH Call; HHS Announces Three New Approaches to Securing Funding Date: August 4, 2020 DPH Extends Deadline for Reporting of Historical Data In response to a request by Mass Senior Care Association, yesterday the DPH released the following information regarding an extension of the
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President Re: COVID-19 Updates: First Surveillance Testing Report Due Tomorrow; CHIA Voluntary Survey Date: July 30, 2020 Afternoon Edition Reminder: First Surveillance Testing Period Reporting Due July 31st by 12:00 PM As a reminder, data for the first staff surveillance testing period (July 23 – July 30) is due on Friday, July 31st by 12:00pm, even if your facility is on a bi-weekly testing regimen. To submit data for the
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President Re: COVID-19 Updates: DPH Releases Revised Guidance Date: July 30, 2020 DPH Releases Revised Guidance on “Caring for Long-Term Care Residents during the COVID-19 Emergency” and “Allowing Non-Essential Personnel in Long-Term Care Facilities” Today, DPH released two memos related to care of long-term care residents during the COVID-19 Emergency. Caring for Long-Term Care Residents during the COVID-19 Emergency includes revisions to screening of employees upon re-entry to the building
Thomas Lavallee, Chief Operating Officer of Alliance Health Management Services, LLC and the Chair of Mass Senior Care Association, authored an op-ed, Mass. Nursing Homes Need a Permanent Fix, which was published in Commonwealth Magazine calling for a new model for long-term care, one which prioritizes high quality and high standards for nursing home residents and caregivers.
The Department of Health and Humans Services recently announced that health care providers who received more than $750,000 in federal awards from the Provider Relief Funds (PRF) will be subject to a single audit or a program specific audit.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives adopted two nursing home amendments to HB 4888, An Act to Promote Resilience in our Health Care System. Passage of Amendment #20 and Amendment #70 would help to provide critical tools and resources for nursing facilities to protect their residents and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President Re: COVID-19 Updates: Legislature Approves 3-Month State Budget; Clarification on Outdoor Visitation Date: July 29, 2020 Legislature Approves 3-Month State Budget through October 31st and Proposes to Extend the Formal Session The Legislature has enacted and sent to the Governor an interim $16.5 billion budget that will keep state government funded through the end of October. Mass Senior Care continues to work aggressively with lawmakers and the Baker Administration
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President Re: COVID-19 Updates: Updated FAQs on Baseline and Surveillance Testing and OIG Updates Workplans to Include Covid-19 in Nursing Homes Date: July 29, 2020 EOHHS Releases Updated FAQs on Baseline and Surveillance Testing EOHHS has released updated FAQs related to baseline and surveillance testing of staff. FAQ #20 relates specifically to the surveillance testing schedule facilities should use if there are delays in baseline staff testing results. Office of
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President Re: COVID-19 Updates: DPH Reporting Deadline Extended to August 5th; Free Testing Now Available in Eight Additional Communities; Weekly DPH Call Reminder Date: July 27, 2020 DPH Retrospective Reporting Deadline Extended to August 5th Due to technical issues that have occurred with the REDCap reporting system over the last week, the DPH is extending the deadline for retrospective reporting to Wednesday, August 5th for nursing homes, rest homes and
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President Re: COVID-19 Updates: Public Health Emergency Extended; CMS Releases FAQ for POC Testing Instrument; Governor Baker Issues Travel Order Date: July 24, 2020 Public Health Emergency Extended Yesterday, HHS formally extended the COVID-19 pandemic Public Health Emergency for another 90 days. The extension ensures that the COVID-19 related regulatory and reimbursement blanket waivers are extended. This includes waivers of staff training requirements, the 3-day stay and spell of illness
In case you missed it, Thomas Lavallee, Chief Operating Officer of Alliance Health Management Services, LLC and the Chair of Mass Senior Care Association, authored the following op-ed that was published in today's Commonwealth Magazine calling for a new model for long-term care, one which prioritizes high quality and high standards for nursing home residents and caregivers.
Through a collaboration with Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, Massachusetts Senior Care Association received a generous donation of face shields produced by Applied Materials and the Gloucester Education Foundation.
The Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) has scheduled a webinar regarding the new electronic nursing facility Realty Company Cost Report, now called the REA-CR, that you will be using for the first time to file your 2019 realty company cost reports. In this webinar, CHIA will discuss the changes and new functionality available to you as you complete and file this new electronic cost report.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday evening announced it will be sending $5 billion of the Provider Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to Medicare-certified long term care facilities and state veterans’ homes (“nursing homes”), to build nursing home skills and enhance nursing homes’ response to COVID-19, including enhanced infection control. This funding could be used to address critical needs in nursing homes including hiring additional staff, implementing infection control “mentorship” programs with subject matter experts, increasing testing, and providing additional services, such as technology so residents can connect with their families if they are not able to visit. To qualify for the funding, nursing homes must participate in an online program focused on infection control and best practices. CMS and HHS are still working on the methodology for distribution of these funds. The agencies have made clear that their priorities are testing, funding for staffing costs and to address facilities in COVID-19 hotspots. We will provide more details on the funding distribution as they become available.
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President Re: COVID-19 Updates: HHS to Provide $5 Billion of Provider Relief Funds for Long Term Care Facilities Date: July 22, 2020 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will devote $5 billion of the Provider Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to Medicare-certified long term care facilities and state veterans’ homes (“nursing homes”), to build nursing home skills and enhance
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President Re: COVID-19 Updates: DHHS Releases Preliminary Reporting Guidance; Reporting Technical Issues with REDCap Reporting; NF Testing Providers; National CMS/CDC Nursing Home COVID-19 Training Date: July 22, 2020 DHHS Releases Preliminary Provider Relief Fund Reporting Guidance On July 21, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released a framework for more detailed Provider Relief Fund reporting guidance and materials to be released on August 17, 2020. In the
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President Re: COVID-19 Updates: CDC Updates; NHSN Updates Instructions for Completing Supplies and PPE Pathway; Temporary Technical Issues with Data Submission for Chapter 93 Reporting; Weekly DPH and CMS Call Reminders Date: July 21, 2020 CDC Updates Transmission Based Precautions, Duration of Isolation, and Return to Work Criteria On July 17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted substantial changes to the transmission-based precautions. As the CDC continues to learn
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President RE: COVID-19 Updates - Testing Partners; CHIA Testing Submission Due Today; Administrator CEU Requirement Waived; Business Compliance Webpage Date: July 20, 2020 Testing Partners – New Option Through ProEMS/The Broad Institute Nursing facilities and 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
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President RE: COVID-19 Baseline and Surveillance Testing Data Submission Platform – CHIA Webinar PPT Date: July 17, 2020 COVID-19 Baseline and Surveillance Testing Data Submission Platform – CHIA Webinar PPT CHIA has issued the PowerPoint presentation from its July 16th webinar on how a nursing facility reports its baseline and surveillance testing data via the submission tool located here: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5678159/covid-nf-surveillance. The filing is due on July 20th. Additional information about
Memorandum To: Mass Senior Care Members From: Tara M. Gregorio, President RE: COVID-19 Updates: Direct Care Add On Webform Now Available; Cases Above Average in Most MA Communities Targeted for Testing; Google Chrome Recommended for Red Cap Reporting Date: July 17, 2020 Direct Care Add On Webform is Now Available – Due Date is Friday, July 31, 2020 The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) today informed nursing home registered users that the FY20 MassHealth Direct Care Webform
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently updated the Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN), Form CMS-R-131, which is issued by SNF and other providers submitting claims for Medicare items and services to beneficiaries in situations where Medicare payment is expected to be denied.