Coronavirus

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are working nationally with the federal government​​​ to ensure nursing hom​​es, assisted living communities, and intermediate care facilities for indiv​​iduals with intellectual disabilities receive necessary supplies and guidance to prevent the spread ​of this disease.

Visit this website regularly for the latest information that AHCA/NCAL has to share with long term care providers about COVID-19. 


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How You Can Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

 Providers

Please note that skilled nursing providers should consult the guidance put forth by CMS and the CDC, and assisted living communities can consult AHCA/NCAL's guidance​. Providers should also check their local and state health departments for updates and potentially stricter guidance, but these are general, national prevention and containment tips: 

 
Infection Control: Maintain i​nfection control policies and procedures, updated where needed and increase transmission-based precautions.
 
Staff: Remind about hand hygiene and proper use of PPE. Tell them to stay home if they're sick. Screen all personnel coming into the building.
 
Limit Interactions: Restrict all non-essential visitors and group activities. Implement social distancing within the facility.
 
PPE: Preserve your current supply if you're running low. Ask for help from local and state officials and document requests.
 
Communicate: Report suspected or confirmed cases to authorities. Keep residents, families and staff informed about your developing situation. Prepare for media inquiries.
 
Engagement: Keep residents connected with loved ones remotely and stimulated with meaningful activities adapted for this situation.


If a staff member shows symptoms of COVID-19: Have them go home immediately. 

If a resident shows symptoms of ​COVID-19​: Implement droplet precaution, and contact the local health department. ​

 Families

Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses a serious threat to older adults (especially 80 years old and older) and those with underlying health conditions. This is why the federal government and many state governments are restricting visitors to nursing homes and assisted living communities. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for end-of-life visits. We understand this is difficult, but the safety and wellbeing of your loved one is our top priority.  

Here’s how you can continue to stay in touch with them, and how you can help: 

  • Communicate with your loved ones through alternative ways for the time being, whether by phone, video, social media, or other methods. Ask the facility about ways they can help with this.  
  • Make sure your loved one’s facility has your emergency contact information. The facility may need to communicate with you about any developments regarding your loved one or about the facility as a whole.  
  • If you must come to the facility, such as a loved one is near end-of-life, coordinate with the staff ahead of time.  
    • They may ask you some questions before or when your arrive. This is to make sure you do not pose as a potential risk to residents and staff.  
    • If you are asked to not enter the building, please understand this is for the safety of your loved one and everyone else in the building. Nursing homes and assisted living communities are following direction from the government to prevent the spread of this virus.  
    • ​If you are permitted in, please wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately upon entering and throughout your visit. Avoid touching your loved ones or other individuals in the building. Again, we know this is difficult, but the virus is very contagious and social distancing is important at this time. ​
  • ​Warn your loved ones about potential scammers during this crisis and encourage them to be cautious.​

 Residents

Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses a serious threat to older adults (especially 80 years old and older) and those with underlying health conditions. This is why the federal government and many state governments are restricting visitors to nursing homes and assisted living communities. We understand this is a difficult and stressful time. Those who work in long term care facilities are focused on your safety and wellbeing.  

Here’s how you can continue to stay in touch with your loved ones, and how you can help: 

  • Ask the facility about other ways you can communicate with your loved ones, whether by phone, video or social media.  
  • Follow everyday preventive actions such as: 
    • ​Washing your hands or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers 
    • Covering your cough and sneezes ​
  • ​Ask other individuals (including staff) to avoid touching you with handshakes, hugs or kisses. Ask them to wash their hands. Do not be shy! It’s okay to remind people.
  • Watch out for potential scammers​ during this crisis. 
  • If you begin to experience difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell​, tell a staff member immediately.​

 Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program

​Starting ​on Monday, Oct​ober 19, long term care facilities (nursing homes, assisted living communities, ICF/IIDs and other congregate settings for older adults) will have two weeks to register with the CDC on how they want to receive and administer the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.​​ 

Learn more:

NURSING HOMES​​

ASSISTED LIVING & OTHER CONGREGATE SETTINGS

REGISTER HERE


 

 

Updated HHS NHSN Reporting Requirementshttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Updated-HHS-NHSN-Reporting-Requirements.aspxUpdated HHS NHSN Reporting Requirements10/22/2020 4:00:00 AM<p><span style="font-size:11pt;">In an updated </span><a href="https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/covid-19-laboratory-data-reporting-guidance.pdf" target="_blank" style="font-size:11pt;">memo</a><span style="font-size:11pt;"> from HHS, the point-of-care testing results are now required as part of the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) system. The HHS memo identifies that “CMS-certified long term care facilities shall submit point-of-care COVID-19 testing data, including antigen testing data, to CDC’s NHSN."​  To report the point-of-care test results to NHSN, facilities will need to upgrade from SAMS Level-1 access to SAMS Level-3 access.  While this new requirement goes into effect immediately, AHCA has been told that enforcement discretion will be utilized until November 20th to allow time for centers to make the upgrade from Level-1 to Level-3.   </span></p><div><br></div><div>Centers must immediately take action to<a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/ltc/covid19/sams-access.html" target="_blank"> upgrade from Level-1 to Level-3</a> to avoid enforcement penalties and to meet this new requirement. T<strong>his process can take up to four weeks</strong>, so do not delay.   </div><div><br></div><div>To facilitate upgrade to SAMS Level-3 you must: </div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>Have <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/pdfs/sams/sams-id-508.pdf" target="_blank">two forms of identification</a> ready to submit <br></li></ul></div><div><p></p><ul><li>Login to SAMS at <a href="https://auth.cdc.gov/siteminderagent/forms/login.fcc?TYPE=33554433&REALMOID=06-2e4e428f-8768-4f65-a66d-911e49413d9e&GUID=&SMAUTHREASON=0&METHOD=GET&SMAGENTNAME=-SM-VfBllSkkIKR6GkMEZgI2o6e2zk/xh2fc/e5E0N/N98H5LsZWkDhX/H618YU%2bV1pFG6Dqc8o%2buj7a7BOjbw3l3DbOwJLzWlX7IAOrlseiUBdD9DB45IS4xFtcl/Rbqrug&TARGET=-SM-https://sams.cdc.gov/" target="_blank">https://sams.cdc.gov</a> and use the <em>Update Profile</em> menu option on the left side of the page. Confirm that your home mailing address is correct and current within your SAMS profile. <br></li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that your<strong> name</strong> and <strong>address</strong> match how it appears on your submitted identification (such as your state issued driver’s license). <br></li></ul></div><div><ul><li>Once you submit your identification, SAMS must confirm your identity.  Once confirmed, SAMS will send you a “Welcome to SAMS” email as well as a SAMS Grid Card mailed to hour residential/home address via USPS mail. <strong>The SAMS Grid Card permits LEVEL-3 access to NHSN</strong>.<br></li></ul></div><div><ul><li>After receiving your SAMS grid card via USPS mail, you must login to SAMS at <a href="https://auth.cdc.gov/siteminderagent/forms/login.fcc?TYPE=33554433&REALMOID=06-2e4e428f-8768-4f65-a66d-911e49413d9e&GUID=&SMAUTHREASON=0&METHOD=GET&SMAGENTNAME=-SM-VfBllSkkIKR6GkMEZgI2o6e2zk/xh2fc/e5E0N/N98H5LsZWkDhX/H618YU%2bV1pFG6Dqc8o%2buj7a7BOjbw3l3DbOwJLzWlX7IAOrlseiUBdD9DB45IS4xFtcl/Rbqrug&TARGET=-SM-https://sams.cdc.gov/" target="_blank">https://sams.cdc.gov</a>. Underneath the National Healthcare Safety Network System header, select “NHSN Reporting” link. NOTE: <strong>Do NOT access NHSN LTC Reporting as this option will direct you back to Level-1 security.</strong>  </li></ul></div><div><br></div><div>Alternatively, facilities can email <a href="mailto:nhsn@cdc.gov">nhsn@cdc.gov</a> with the subject line “Enhancing Data Security” to begin upgrading their SAMS access to use this Pathway.  ​<br></div><p>​<br></p>In an updated memo from HHS, the point-of-care testing results are now required as part of the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) system.
Weighing Pharmacy Options for the CDC Vaccine Distribution Programhttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Weighing-Pharmacy-Options-for-the-CDC-Vaccine-Distribution-Program.aspxWeighing Pharmacy Options for the CDC Vaccine Distribution Program10/22/2020 4:00:00 AM<p>​<span style="font-size:11pt;">There are risks associated with which pharmacy option you select for the Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care Program. Long term care facilities need to identify by October 30 as to how they want to receive and administer the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.  ​<br></span><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br>Providers have four options to select from:  </span></p><div><ul><li>work with CVS;  </li><li>work with Walgreens; </li><li>work with their existing pharmacy partner; or  </li><li>work with an alternative partner (e.g. hospital, local/state health department).   </li></ul></div><div> <br> </div><div> <strong>If selecting options three or four, AHCA/NCAL strongly recommends providers first ask to see a signed copy of that entity's provider agreement with their state and CDC, otherwise they run the risk of not being included in early rounds of vaccine delivery and distribution</strong>. This could result in delays in your facility obtaining the vaccine. More information can be found on <a href="/Survey-Regulatory-Legal/Emergency-Preparedness/Documents/COVID19/AHCANCAL-Overview-Pharmacy-Partnership-LTC.pdf" target="_blank">AHCA/NCAL’s program overview and FAQ’s</a>.  </div><div> <br> </div><div>The sign-up process is below: <br><span style="font-size:11pt;">​ </span><br></div><div><table cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-0" style="text-align:center;"><tbody><tr class="ms-rteTableEvenRow-0"><td class="ms-rteTableEvenCol-0" style="width:50%;"> <strong>​NURSING​ HOMES​​</strong><br></td><td class="ms-rteTableOddCol-0" style="width:50%;"><div> <strong>​ASSISTED LIVING COMMUNITIES</strong></div><div>and other congregate settings (ICF/IIDs, independent living, etc.)<br></div></td></tr><tr class="ms-rteTableOddRow-0"><td class="ms-rteTableEvenCol-0"> <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/index.html" target="_blank">​<span class="ms-rteStyle-BlueButton">Sign in ​​​​​to NHSN</span></a><br></td><td class="ms-rteTableOddCol-0"> <a href="https://redcap.link/LTCF" target="_blank"> <span class="ms-rteStyle-BlueButton">​Register through REDCap</span></a><br></td></tr></tbody></table> <br> </div><div> <br><span style="font-size:11pt;">Read more about the program </span><a href="/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/White-House-Announces-Vaccination-Distribution-Program-for-LTC-Residents.aspx" target="_blank" style="font-size:11pt;">here</a><span style="font-size:11pt;">.​</span><br></div>There are risks associated with which pharmacy option you select for the Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care Program.
Updated Reporting Requirements to the Provider Relief Fundhttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Updated-Reporting-Requirements-to-the-Provider-Relief-Fund.aspxUpdated Reporting Requirements to the Provider Relief Fund10/22/2020 4:00:00 AM<p><span style="font-size:11pt;">On Thursday, October 22, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced changes to the reporting requirements and expanded the types of providers who could apply for Provider Relief Funds.</span></p><p>Key Takeaways:</p><ul><li>HHS is returning to its previous definition of lost revenue, a decrease from 2019 revenue, rather than using the September 19 version which would have capped funds to a facility's 2019 net revenue.</li><li>HHS has created new flexibility around reporting at the parent and subsidiary level.</li><li>HHS now is allowing private pay ALs to apply for Phase 3 awards.</li></ul><p>From the HHS press release:</p><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><p>“In response to concerns raised, HHS is amending the reporting instructions to increase flexibility around how providers can apply PRF money toward lost revenues attributable to coronavirus. After reimbursing healthcare related expenses attributable to coronavirus that were unreimbursed by other sources, providers may use remaining PRF funds to cover any lost revenue, measured as a negative change in year-over-year actual revenue from patient care related sources."</p></blockquote><p><br></p><p>All Phase 3 applicants will have until 11:59PM EST on November 6, 2020 to submit their applications for payment consideration.</p><p>Learn more:</p><ul><li>Read the <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/10/22/hhs-expands-relief-fund-eligibility-and-updates-reporting-requirements.html" target="_blank">HHS Press Release</a><br></li><li>Download the <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/reporting-requirements-policy-update.pdf" target="_blank">policy memorandum</a> on the reporting requirement decision<br></li><li>Download the <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/post-payment-notice-of-reporting-requirements-october-2020.pdf" target="_blank">amended reporting requirements guidance</a> <br></li><li>For updates and to learn more about the Provider Relief Program, visit: <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/index.html?language=en" target="_blank">hhs.gov/providerrelief</a>.</li></ul><p>​<br><br></p>On Thursday, October 22, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced changes to the reporting requirements and expanded the types of providers who could apply for Provider Relief Funds.
BD Veritor - New Training Resourceshttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/BD-Veritor---New-Training-Resources.aspxBD Veritor - New Training Resources10/20/2020 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div>BD has released new training resources on batch testing and reporting with the BD Veritor System. Members who are using the BD Veritor System for Point of Care (POC) COVID-19 testing are strongly encouraged to check out these new resources. </div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>Reporting: New reporting updates cover the different options for connectivity on Veritor on the <a href="https://www.bdveritor.com/long-term-care-facilities/reporting-long-term-care-facilities/">reporting website</a><br></li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">​Batch testing: New video tutorial on how to batch test is available on the <a href="https://www.bdveritor.com/long-term-care-facilities/training/">training website</a></span></li></ul></div><div><br></div>BD has released new training resources on batch testing and reporting with the BD Veritor System.

​Guidance & Resources

 AHCA/NCAL

 CDC

Health Care Facility Resources

 CMS

Memos & Guidance
Resources

 Testing

Regulatory Requirements
Rapid Point-of-Care Antigen Tests

 Finance & Reimbursement

General
CARES Act Provider Relief Fund
Medicare Advantage and ACOs
Medicaid

 Training Courses

 Additional Resources