The DPH monthly call is scheduled for Wednesday, January 12, 2022, DPH has provided important reminders for Long-Term Care Facilities on the Reporting of Influenza and Influenza-Like Illness, on January 6, 2022, CMS again updated the Nursing Home Visitation FAQs, CMS posted QSO memo 22-08-NH indicating it will begin posting staffing turnover and weekend staffing levels for each nursing home on the Medicare.gov Care Compare website in January and add the measures to the staffing domain of the Five Star Rating system in July 2022, and the CDC Recommends Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster at 5 Months.
In order to create bed availability for individuals who need nursing facility level of care and better utilize SNF resources, EOHHS and DPH is announcing a temporary program that adds short-term rehabilitation capacity in all regions of Massachusetts, Mass Senior Care asked the state for an immediate increase in the allocation of BinaxNOW test kits to nursing facilities, and MassHealth has issued a reminder that Nursing Facility Bulletin 170: HST Brokerage Transportation for Members in Nursing Facilities is now posted to the MassHealth Nursing facility Bulletin website.
Members are provided updates on the Public Health Emergency Order for COVID-19 booster vaccination, Implementation of Order of the Commissioner of Public Health Regarding Control of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities, Long-Term Care visitation guidance, and an announcement for skilled nursing facilities for short-term rehabilitation capacity.
On December 30, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and the United States Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, in partnership with AHCA/NCAL, Leading Age and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), hosted a virtual forum to discuss the importance of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to protect residents, staff and their loved ones from COVID-19, and MassHealth today informed nursing facilities of new temporary (1) Clinical Eligibility and (2) PASRR Flexibilities to assist patient flow from acute hospitals to nursing facilities.
DPH released revisions to the Caring for LTC Residents during the COVID-19 Response, and effective January 1, 2022, under the “Patient First” law which applies to nursing homes, health care providers are required to notify patients about charges and payments for proposed admissions, procedures, services, and referrals that are specific to the patient’s insurance carrier.
Yesterday, the DPH updated Isolation and Quarantine Guidance for Health Care Personnel, and today, the DPH released information on the use of Casirivimab/imdevimab and bamlanivimab/etesivimab as a treatment or post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19 cases where the Omicron variant has been identified.
The Broad Institute will be closed beginning today, Thursday, December 30th at 2pm and will reopen on Sunday, January 2nd, the CDC released updated guidance on isolation and quarantine for who test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone with COVID-19, on Tuesday, CMS released guidance enforcing the Interim Final Rule (IFR) issued November 5, 2021, mandating the COVID-19 vaccine in health care settings, and OSHA withdraws Healthcare ETS - Update.
On March 21, 2022, MassHealth will update its Eligibility Verification System (EVS) and the HIPAA Health Care Eligibility Benefit Inquiry and Response (270/271) transaction to include the additional benefit plans below for applicable members: COVID Uninsured Coverage CMSP Limited HSN Trading partners should visit the MassHealth HIPAA Companion Guides webpage listed below to evaluate the changes outlined in the MassHealth HIPAA Health Care Eligibility Benefit Inquiry and Response (270/271) Companion Guide, and ensure that their systems can accept the additional
On December 22, 2021, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) submitted a request to extend the MassHealth Section 1115 Demonstration (“1115 waiver”) to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Mass Senior Care Association continues to work with our member long term care facilities to increase COVID-19 booster vaccination rates among residents, their families, staff and visitors. Achieving a high rate of booster vaccinations groups is critical to our fight against COVID-19 and ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents and the entire caregiving team.
Join HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and other Senior COVID-19 Response Leaders for a Virtual Town Hall – co-sponsored by AHCA/NCAL, LeadingAge, and SEIU to discuss the latest news on the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and the impact of boosters for residents and staff, OSHA announced that it will now only require that nursing facilities maintain a COVID-19 log and other previous reporting requirements, and HRSA provided updated information on the status of PRF Phase 4 and ARP Rural Payments.
CMS issued a new set of Frequently Asked Questions on the revised nursing home visitation guidelines, outlined in memo “QSO-20-39-NH REVISED to provide further clarification, CDC today announced updates to their guidance on Managing Health Care Personnel with COVID-19 Infection or Exposure, DPH updated the Comprehensive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidance, and new information about available treatments and efficacy of treatments against current COVID-19 variants is constantly being released.
Earlier this week, AHCA/NCAL, LeadingAge, and the AARP co-hosted a town hall featuring Admiral Rachel L. Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps to answer questions about the Omicron variant, boosters, and why we need to step up the timeline to get the booster.
Yesterday, the Baker-Polito Administration announced additional measures to address a recent rise in COVID-19 cases and to ensure acute care hospitals have sufficient capacity to care for both COVID and non-COVID patients.
MassHealth has issued Nursing Facility Bulletin 173 specifying the billing method nursing facilities can use to obtain reimbursement for COVID-19 vaccine administration to MassHealth residents, effective October 1, 2021.
As the proportion of COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant rises in Massachusetts, the benefit of mAb other than Sotrovimab is declining rapidly. Sotrovimab is the preferred mAb product for treatment of COVID-19 when Omicron is likely to be present and should be the only product used for patients with a high likelihood of Omicron infection or at the highest risk of progression to severe disease, and yesterday EOEA released an Updated Resource Guide for ALRs for COVID Incident Reports.
On Tuesday, December 21 at 4:00 pm Eastern, AHCA/NCAL, LeadingAge and the AARP will co-host a town hall featuring Admiral Rachel L. Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps to answer questions about the Omicron variant, boosters, and why we need to step up the timeline to get the booster, and in recognition of upcoming holidays, CHIA has notified nursing facilities that the deadlines for submission of the COVID-19 surveillance testing report will be extended.
In light of the recent injunction of the CMS vaccine mandate and the subsequent lifting of this injunction in most states, Mass Senior Care is reminding nursing facilities that these actions have no bearing on the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Personnel Vaccination Requirement for nursing homes, and DPH reiterated to all hospitals that to reduce any potential barriers to discharging patients, including those transferring to post-acute care settings, hospitals, including those that have an inpatient pharmacy but no outpatient pharmacy, may dispense medications to their patients.
Join the Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) and the MassCyberCenter on January 13 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
With the emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant in Massachusetts, Mass Senior Care Association is strongly urging members to make COVID-19 vaccination boosters a priority for all eligible staff and residents and to take advantage of the resources available to help increase staff booster shot uptake rates. While we have achieved universal vaccination among residents and staff, it is critically important that we continue to encourage staff to receive the COVID-19 booster shot as it is our best protection against the virus.
DPH updates guidance for caring for the LTC resident during COVID-19, BinaxNOW test kit extension through 3/31/2022, assisted living residence skilled care DPH order and EOEA guidance; preliminary findings on Omicron and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, and recording available of CMS National Nursing Home Stakeholder Call
The emergence of COVID-19 variants has made booster shots even more important in protecting our residents and staff, the CDC Nursing Home COVID-19 Vaccination Data Dashboard now includes national and state level data on additional doses and booster shots among nursing home residents and staff, HHS announces release of Phase 4 Provider Relief Fund payments, and the Baker-Polito Administration announced additional efforts to provide hospitals with necessary flexibility to ensure sufficient acute care capacity, including updating and issuing several Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidance documents.
Reminder – follow-up Q&A session on ventilation strategies; MassHealth Transportation & Customer Web Portal (CWP) training on December 16, 2021; important HRSA updates; Baker-Polito administration announces 2.1 million at-home COVID tests for high-need communities.
The American Health Care Association (AHCA) is pleased to announce “Creating and Nurturing Connections” as next year’s theme for National Skilled Nursing Care Week (NSNCW) which will be observed May 8-14, 2022.
Mass Senior Care is pleased to welcome new members to our Association. Our members have demonstrated their commitment to the senior care provider community by joining Mass Senior Care and we are grateful for their support.
Register Now for Zoom meeting addressing critical need to increase boosters, MassHealth One-Time supplemental payment to NFs for COVID-19 booster/third vaccination dose supplemental payment, winter holiday ventilation tips to reduce spread of COVID-19 recording now available, and follow-up live Q&A session on December 15th.
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.