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.​

 

 

Office Hours: Department of Labor and COVID-19https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Office-Hours-Department-of-Labor-and-COVID-19-.aspxOffice Hours: Department of Labor and COVID-199/28/2020 4:00:00 AM<p>​<span style="font-size:11pt;">On Wednesday, September 30 at 3:00 PM Eastern, AHCA/NCAL will host an “office hour" to answer your questions about the new Department of Labor coronavirus leave requirements. Our Department of Labor (DOL) consultants from Jackson Lewis, <a href="https://www.jacksonlewis.com/people/craig-s-roberts" target="_blank">Craig S. Roberts​</a>, Principal and <a href="https://www.jacksonlewis.com/people/henry-s-shapiro" target="_blank">Henry​ Shapiro</a>, Associate, will present an overview and updates to leave requirements in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act impacting long term care. This overview will include the new definition of healthcare workers. After their presentation, the consultants will be available for your questions. Please note, this is not meant to take the place of guidance from your legal counsel.  <br></span><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br>No pre-registration is required but you will need to login using your computer or WebEx app as questions will be accepted using the chat function. All lines will be muted.  <br></span><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br>Join the WebEX <a href="https://ahcancal.webex.com/ahcancal/j.php?MTID=mf5a7e8c376bd5d0bdcb5ea38a90a95ba" target="_blank">h​ere</a>: <br></span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">​Meeting number (access code): 172 101 3462 </span></li><li>Meeting password: Pb3V8xmJJW2</li></ul><p></p>AHCA/NCAL will host an “office hour" to answer your questions about the new Department of Labor coronavirus leave requirements.
Coronavirus Testing in Nursing Homes Webinarhttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Coronavirus-Testing-in-Nursing-Homes-Webinar.aspxCoronavirus Testing in Nursing Homes Webinar9/28/2020 4:00:00 AM<p><span style="font-size:11pt;">On Thursday, October 1, from 1:30 to 3:00 PM Eastern, there will be an ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network webinar on Coronavirus testing in nursing homes. <br></span><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br>Speakers include:  </span></p><div><ul><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">​Nimalie Stone MD, Medical Epidemiologist and Lead for COVID-19 response in LTC at the CDC </span></li><li>Richard Feifer MD, CMO of Genesis HealthCare and President of Genesis Physician Services </li></ul></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br>Following each brief presentation there will be a moderated Q&A.  </span><br></div><div><br></div><div>Registration is required and can be completed <a href="https://echo.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_y9fxzhDBSqKnRq_cca3xIw" target="_blank">here</a>.<br><br></div>On Thursday, October 1, from 1:30 to 3:00 PM Eastern, there will be an ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network webinar on Coronavirus testing in nursing homes.
CMS Releases New Tools to Streamline CLIA Certificationhttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/CMS-Releases-New-Tools-to-Streamline-CLIA-Certification.aspxCMS Releases New Tools to Streamline CLIA Certification9/28/2020 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div>On Friday, September 25, CMS <a href="https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-releases-new-tools-streamline-certification-labs-testing-covid-19" target="_blank">released</a> several new tools to help reduce delays for laboratories or other sites seeking a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) Waiver. This applies to skilled nursing facilities or assisted living communities who are seeking a CLIA waiver to perform COVID-19 point of care testing. The new tools include a <a href="https://www.cms.gov/files/document/laboratory-quick-start-guide-cms-clia-certification.pdf" target="_blank">quick start guide</a> to expedite the application and approval process and a new payment process for CLIA certification fees on the <a href="https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/CLIA/index?redirect=/clia" target="_blank">CMS CLIA Program website</a>. The <a href="https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/CLIA/Downloads/CLIA_certificate_fee_schedule.pdf" target="_blank">CLIA Certificate Fee Schedule</a> contains detailed information on costs.<br></div><div><br></div>On Friday, September 25, CMS released several new tools to help reduce delays for laboratories or other sites seeking a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) Waiver.
CDC to Release New Point of Care Laboratory Reporting Pathway through NHSNhttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/CDC-to-Release-New-Point-of-Care-Laboratory-Reporting-Pathway-through-NHSN.aspxCDC to Release New Point of Care Laboratory Reporting Pathway through NHSN9/28/2020 4:00:00 AM<p>​<span style="font-size:11pt;">The CDC has recently announced a new Point of Care (POC) Laboratory Reporting Pathway through their National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) LTC COVID-19 Module. The new reporting pathway will be released on October 15, 2020. This will allow providers to meet the <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/covid-19-laboratory-data-reporting-guidance.pdf" target="_blank">HHS requirement</a> that all laboratories or other sites performing rapid point of care (POC) antigen tests under a CLIA certificate report the results to the appropriate state or local public health department.  <br></span><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br>Providers should be on the lookout for more information via email from CDC. This will require an upgraded NHSN Secure Access Management Service (SAMS) from Level 1 to Level 3. Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities can also email <a href="mailto:nhsn@cdc.gov">nhsn@cdc.gov</a> with the subject line “Enhancing Data Security” to begin upgrading their SAMS access. </span><span style="font-size:11pt;">​​</span></p>The CDC has recently announced a new Point of Care (POC) Laboratory Reporting Pathway through their National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) LTC COVID-19 Module.

​Guidance & Resources

 AHCA/NCAL

Guidance
Screening
Workforce

 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