Coronavirus

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are working 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 virus.​

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 tha​t skilled nursing providers should consult the guidance put forth by CMS and the CDC, and assisted living communities should consult CDC 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: #GetVaccinated! Regularly wash your hands and use PPE where appropriate. Stay home if you're sick.​ ​
 
Limit Interactions: Implement social distancing within the facility where possible to help prevent the spread of infection.
 
PPE: Regularly review federal and state guidance on appropriate use of masks, gowns, gloves, etc. and maintain your inventory​.
 
Communicate: Report suspected or confirmed cases to authorities. Keep residents, families and staff informed about your developing situation. Prepare for media inquiries.
 
Engagement: Follow government guidelines for safe in-person visitations, keep residents connected with loved ones remotely, and offer 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 in certain circumstances the federal government and many state governments are restricting visitors to nursing homes and assisted living communities. Adaptations (e.g., limited indoor and outdoor visits) and exceptions on a case-by-case basis (e.g., end-of-life or compassionate care visits) may be made. ​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.
    • Many long term care facilities are only permitted to share information about a resident to a designated health representative. Work together as a family unit to share information to keep everyone informed.       
  • If you must come to the facility, coordinate with the staff ahead of time. Learn more about how you can prepare for a visit to a long term care facility
    • They may ask you some questions, take your temperature, have you take a COVID test, and/or make sure you’re wearing proper protective equipment (like a mask) when you 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. Wear a mask and any other protective equipment as directed by the facility. 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. ​
  • Do your part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. High community spread is linked to outbreaks in nursing homes. Follow the CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others. Get the COVID-19 vaccine, when you are eligible. 
  • ​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 in certain circumstances 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.  
  • If you haven't already, get the COVID-19 vaccine. Your facility is working with a pharmacy or state/local officials to offer vaccinations​ and can provide more specific information about how and when this will work. 
  • Follow everyday preventive actions such as: 
    • ​Washing your hands or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers 
    • Covering your cough and sneezes ​
    • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth 
    • Keeping 6-feet distance from other residents and staff (when possible) 
  • ​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.​

 

 

COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Resourceshttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/COVID-19-Vaccine-and-Booster-Resources.aspxCOVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Resources1/17/2023 5:00:00 AM<p><br><br></p>The <a href="https://getvaccinated.us/" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank">#GetVaccinated</a> website continues to offer access to COVID-19 vaccine and booster resources. In addition to the AHCA/NCAL <a href="/News-and-Communications/Documents/GetVaccinated/GETVAX-bivalent-handout.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank">#GetVaccinated handout </a>to help long term care staff discuss the value of the bivalent booster with residents, you can find <a href="https://getvaccinated.us/long-term-care-provider-resources/" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank">#GetBoosted​</a> graphics (posters, social media, and more) – as well as vaccine booster template letters for staff and residents. ​<br><br>We want to hear your stories! Why did you or your residents #GetVaccinated and/or #GetBoosted? Visit <a href="https://getvaccinated.us/stories/" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank">#GetVaccinated​</a> to learn why others got the vaccine/booster, and be sure to <span style="font-size:11pt;">share your own story <a href="https://getvaccinated.us/stories/#share" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank">here​</a>. ​</span>The #GetVaccinated website continues to offer access to COVID-19 vaccine and booster resources.
NSHN Reporting Requirements for Q1 2023https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/NSHN-Reporting-Requirements-for-Q1-2023.aspxNSHN Reporting Requirements for Q1 20231/17/2023 5:00:00 AM<p><br></p><div>It is crucial to report current COVID-19 vaccination status to NHSN. The up-to-date definition applies when reporting data through the NSHN COVID-19 Vaccination Modules and the Resident Impact and Facility Capacity (RIFC) Pathyway for first quarter (Q1) 2023.  </div><div> </div><div>Individuals are considered up-to-date with the COVID-19 vaccines during the surveillance period from December 26, 2022, through March 26, 2023, for the purpose of NHSN reporting if they meet one of the following criteria:   </div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>​Received an updated (bivalent) booster dose; or </li><li>Completed their primary series less than two months ago </li></ul></div><div><br></div><div>As of Q1 2023, monovalent boosters are no longer included in the up-to-date definition and individuals are only considered up to date if they meet one of the two criteria above.  </div><div> </div><div>You can find more information about the up-to-date definition in the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/pdfs/hps/covidvax/UpToDateGuidance-508.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank">CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Modules Key Terms guide​</a>.<br></div>It is crucial to report current COVID-19 vaccination status to NHSN.
CDC, FDA to Investigate Weak Signal for Stroke in Seniors with Pfizer Bivalent Vaccinehttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/CDC-FDA-to-Investigate-Weak-Signal-for-Stroke-in-Seniors-with-Pfizer-Bivalent-Vaccine.aspxCDC, FDA to Investigate Weak Signal for Stroke in Seniors with Pfizer Bivalent Vaccine1/13/2023 5:00:00 AM<p>​​<span style="font-size:11pt;">The CDC and FDA </span><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/bivalent-boosters.html" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank" style="font-size:11pt;">issued preliminary findings</a><span style="font-size:11pt;"> about monitoring the bivalent COVID-19​ vaccine’s safety that​ discusses an initial increase of strokes in their safety monitoring data for the Pfizer bivalent COVID-19 vaccine. As part of routine surveillance, the CDC detected a preliminary signal for stroke in people ages 65 and older who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 bivalent mRNA vaccine. However, this statistical signal is lower than the signals seen for other issues related to the vaccines. As a response to the signal, the CDC and FDA examined several large databases including:  </span></p><div><br></div><div><ul><li>​Medicare’s database of 5 million doses </li><li>The Veterans’ Affairs’ database of millions of veterans​  </li><li>Israel’s database </li><li>Various European countries’ databases  </li></ul></div><div><br></div><div><strong>To date, the aforementioned organizations have not seen an association or increased risk in stroke from vaccines in these databases. The totality of the data currently suggests that it is very unlikely that the initial signal represents a true clinical risk. </strong></div><div><br></div><div>However, for the sake of transparency, the FDA and CDC are issuing a statement about the signal and the results of their investigation so far. Putting this preliminary data in context, we know that the bivalent vaccine significantly lowers the risk of develop serious symptoms, being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19 compared to those who have either already been infected or been vaccinated but without a booster. The COVID-19 virus causes more complications and death among individuals over the age of 65, particularly those with health conditions. </div><div> </div><div><strong>This announcement does not change AHCA/NCAL’s recommendation for residents to be vaccinated.</strong> Should a person have concerns, they may also request the Moderna bivalent vaccine which did not have an increased signal for strokes. <br></div>The CDC and FDA issued preliminary findings about monitoring the bivalent COVID vaccine’s safety that discusses an initial increase of strokes in their safety monitoring data for the Pfizer bivalent COVID-19 vaccine.
CMS Issues Third Edition of the QRP COVID-19 Public Reporting Tip Sheethttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/CMS-Issues-Third-Edition-of-the-QRP-COVID-19-Public-Reporting-Tip-Sheet.aspxCMS Issues Third Edition of the QRP COVID-19 Public Reporting Tip Sheet1/13/2023 5:00:00 AM<p>​</p><div>The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an updated third edition of the <a href="https://www.cms.gov/files/document/2022novembersnf-third-edition-qrp-public-reporting-tip-sheet.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]">SNF QRP Public Reporting (PR) Tip Sheet</a>. </div><div><br></div><div>The tip sheet provides the following updates on SNF QRP PR:  </div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>Adoption of a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) measure, Influenza Vaccination Coverage among Healthcare Personnel (National Quality Forum (NQF) #0431), beginning with the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 SNF QRP.  </li></ul></div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>Inaugural reporting of the COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage among Healthcare Personnel (HCP), reported through CDC NHSN, and SNF Healthcare Associated-Infections (HAI) Requiring Hospitalization claims-based quality measures (QMs).  </li></ul></div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>Definition of the quarters for reporting of claims-based QMs displayed on Care Compare and the Provider Data Catalog (PDC).  </li></ul></div><div><br></div><div>The tip sheet also discusses the revised data submission threshold related to the SNF QRP annual payment update. </div><div><br></div><div>The purpose of the tip sheet is to help providers understand CMS’ public reporting approach to the SNF QRP to account for CMS quality data submissions that were either optional or excepted from public reporting due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The impacts on CMS’ Care Compare website refreshes are also outlined. This tip sheets serves as companion documents to the first and second edition QRP COVID-19 PR Tip Sheets published in 2020 and 2022. </div><div><br></div><div>Content-related questions about the tip sheet should be submitted to the <a href="mailto:SNFQualityQuestions@cms.hhs.gov" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank">SNF QRP Help Desk</a>. </div><div><br></div><div>Additional background and training resources are available on the<a href="https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/NursingHomeQualityInits/Skilled-Nursing-Facility-Quality-Reporting-Program/SNF-Quality-Reporting-Program-Training" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank"> SNF QRP Training page</a>. Providers with questions about accessing the resources or feedback regarding the trainings can email <a href="mailto:PACTraining@EconometricaInc.com" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="["60b7cbf17788425491b2d083"]" target="_blank">PAC Training</a>. <br></div>CMS announced an updated third edition of the SNF QRP Public Reporting Tip Sheet.

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