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.​

 

 

HHS Opens PRF Reporting Portal for Registrationhttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/HHS-Opens-PRF-Reporting-Portal-for-Registration.aspxHHS Opens PRF Reporting Portal for Registration1/15/2021 5:00:00 AM<p><span style="font-size:11pt;">T​he Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) launched the <a href="https://prfreporting.hrsa.gov/s/" target="_blank">Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Reporting Portal</a>. The portal is only open for providers to set up user accounts and register to submit reports. In the updated PRF Reporting requirements (click here), HHS indicates reporting is delayed until further notice. No date is provided in the <a href="https://hrsac19.my.salesforce.com/sfc/p/#t00000004XgP/a/t0000001FId8/wN.4dTa.NRiNhwh_0CBblH6gvvedhqOt7_.5OS7rP6U" target="_blank">PRF Reporting FAQs</a>. Highlights from the Reporting FAQs include:</span></p><div><ul><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">​Nursing Home Infection Control Reporting – While reporting guidance has not yet been released, providers who received these allocations must register;  </span></li></ul></div><div><ul><li>Providers may not use their Optum account information, such as Optum ID, to register;  <br></li></ul></div><div><ul><li>HHS has not set a deadline to register;  <br></li></ul></div><div><ul><li>Providers submitting multiple reports for multiple subsidiaries must set up unique reporting registrations for each. Conversely, if a provider with multiple subsidiaries is submitting a single report, only one registration is needed;  <br></li></ul></div><div><ul><li>Parent companies reporting on multiple TINs must include all TINs when registering to report; and <br></li></ul></div><div><ul><li>Any updates to registration information only can be made when the reporting web portal goes live.  </li></ul></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><strong>Additional Information </strong></span><br></div><div><br></div><div>You may view the PRF Reporting and Audit webpage with reporting guidance <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/reporting-auditing/index.html" target="_blank">here</a>. </div><div><br></div><div>AHCA/NCAL has provided a summary of changes to the Post-Payment Notice of PRF Reporting Requirements <a href="/Survey-Regulatory-Legal/Emergency-Preparedness/Documents/COVID19/Changes%20to%20General%20and%20Targeted%20Distribution%20Post-Payment%20Notice%20of%20Reporting%20Requirements%202021.pdf?csf=1&e=fSAGDB" target="_blank">here</a>. To access AHCA/NCAL’s webinar on reporting requirements and general information, click <a href="https://educate.ahcancal.org/products/prf-reporting-requirements-updated-with-hhs-faqs-november-23" target="_blank">here</a>. Please note that this webinar does not reflect the 1/15 reporting updates. </div><div><br></div><div>For AICPA’s webinar on Single Audit (sponsored by the AICPA Governmental Audit Quality Center), click <a href="https://www.aicpa.org/interestareas/governmentalauditquality/resources/single-audit-archived-events.html" target="_blank">here​</a>.<br></div>On Friday, January 15, HHS launched the Provider Relief Fund Reporting Portal.
Workforce Updates Through the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2021https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Workforce-Updates-through-the-Consolidated-Appropriations-Act-for-2021.aspxWorkforce Updates Through the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 20211/14/2021 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div><strong>Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) </strong></div><div><br></div><div>With the start of the new year and passing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Act), there have been some important changes to rules providing relief due to COVID-19. On December 31, 2020 the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expired. The Act provides an extension for employers to voluntarily provide the benefits under the FFCRA until March 31, 2021 and be able to receive a tax credit for those voluntarily provided benefits. There is one state exception to this for New York, the NY Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave (Quarantine Leave Law) remains in place and did not expire on 12/31/20.  </div><div><br></div><div><strong>Extension of Deferred Payroll Taxes </strong></div><div><br></div><div>Pursuant to IRS Notice 2020-65, which provided guidance on the employment tax deferral that was the subject of a Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster, the due date for the withholding and payment of the employee share of Social Security taxes on certain wages was postponed until the period beginning on January 1, 2021 and ending on April 30, 2021. The Act extends the deadline for employees to repay these deferred taxes until December 31, 2021. </div><div><br></div><div><strong>Temporary Allowance of Full Deduction for Business Meals </strong></div><div><br></div><div>The Act temporarily allows a 100 percent deduction for business expenses for food or beverages provided by a restaurant that are paid or incurred between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022. </div><div><br></div><div><strong>Exclusion of Certain Employer Payments of Student Loans </strong></div><div><br></div><div>The CARES Act amended Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code (which permits employers to provide certain educational assistance to employees on a tax-free basis) to allow the payment by an employer of principal or interest on certain employee qualified education loans through December 31, 2020. The Act expands this provision to permit the tax-free payment of principal or interest on qualified education loans by employers through December 30, 2025 (subject to applicable limits under Section 127). Per a <a href="https://www.jacksonlewis.com/publication/consolidated-appropriations-act-2021-ppp-and-tax-provisions" target="_blank">Jackson Lewis article</a>, employers may want to consider amending their Section 127 plans to provide this valuable tax-free benefit.<br></div>With the start of the new year and passing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Act), there have been some important changes to rules providing relief due to COVID-19.
COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Strategieshttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/COVID-19-Vaccine-Communication-Strategies.aspxCOVID-19 Vaccine Communication Strategies1/14/2021 5:00:00 AM<p>​​As COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out to skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities across the country, providers are working hard to educate their staff and residents about the safety and benefits of the vaccine. AHCA/NCAL has updated its <a href="/News-and-Communications/Documents/GetVaccinated/COVID-19%20Vaccine%20Communications%20Tactics.pdf" target="_blank">tactics for effectively communicating with staff</a> to reflect best practices gathered from providers across the country. Providers are encouraged to review this document for tips in promoting vaccine acceptance among both staff and residents. For more resources, check out AHCA/NCAL’s <a href="/News-and-Communications/Pages/GetVaccinated.aspx" target="_blank">#getvaccinated​</a> website.<br></p>As COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out to skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities across the country, providers are working hard to educate their staff and residents about the safety and benefits of the vaccine.
Vaccine Rollout Continues In Long Term Care Facilities Nationwide, Offering Hope To Residents, Families And Staffhttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Vaccine-Rollout-Continues-In-Long-Term-Care-Facilities-Nationwide,-Offering-Hope-To-Residents,-Families-And-Staff.aspxVaccine Rollout Continues In Long Term Care Facilities Nationwide, Offering Hope To Residents, Families And Staff1/12/2021 5:00:00 AM<p></p><div><a href="https://cvshealth.com/sites/default/files/cvs-health-covid-19-vaccination-data.pdf" target="_blank">Every state</a> in the country has activated its pharmacy partnership program for nursing homes, and so far, the response has been positive. As of January 11, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that more than 900,000 doses have been administered, and 95 percent of nursing homes expect to complete their first rounds of inoculations in the next two weeks.</div><div><br></div><div>Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont <a href="https://ctmirror.org/2021/01/08/as-infections-spike-connecticut-reaches-milestone-in-vaccinations/" target="_blank">announced</a> last Friday that the state completed administering the first doses of the vaccine to all nursing homes, becoming the first in the country to do so. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) is encouraging other governors to follow suit and swiftly activate their vaccination programs in all long term care settings, including assisted living communities.</div><div><br></div><div>Given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of this virus, combined with rapidly increasing community spread throughout the country, the vaccines will literally be a lifesaver for thousands of residents and expedite the reopening of long term care facilities to family members and loved ones.</div><div><br></div><div>Headlines illustrate the positive impact the vaccines are having on the long term care sector:</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li><a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2020/12/28/massachusetts-nursing-homes-get-their-first-shot-at-coronavirus-vaccine-one-of-the-best-days-of-my-life/" target="_blank">Boston Herald</a>: Massachusetts Nursing Homes Get Their First Shot At Coronavirus Vaccine: ‘One Of The Best Days Of My Life’</li><li><a href="https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-coronavirus-chicago-vaccine-lightfoot-expanding-distribution-20201228-b3yptypqu5gufaudsjl5omusii-story.html" target="_blank">Chicago Tribune</a>: ‘The Light At The End Of The Tunnel’: COVID-19 Vaccinations Begin In Chicago’s Hard-Hit Nursing Homes As Mayor Asks For Continued Vigilance Against Virus</li><li><a href="https://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/local/a-lot-of-hope-for-the-future-vaccination-campaign-begins-at-beleaguered-lenox-nursing-home/article_023883fa-4957-11eb-9538-1381252fe3af.html" target="_blank">The Berkshire Eagle</a>: ‘A Lot Of Hope For The Future’: Vaccination Campaign Begins At Beleaguered Lenox Nursing Home</li><li><a href="https://www.brproud.com/news/local-news/its-been-a-long-road-golden-age-begins-vaccination-process-first-long-term-care-facility-in-area-to-start/" target="_blank">BR Proud</a>: ‘It’s Been A Long Road,’ Golden Age Begins Vaccination Process, First Long-Term Care Facility In Area To Start</li><li><a href="https://www.kcbd.com/2020/12/29/we-have-waited-since-march-this-nursing-home-residents-staff-receiving-covid-vaccines-through-cvs/" target="_blank">KCBD-TV (NBC-Lubbock, TX)</a>: ‘We Have Waited Since March For This’: Nursing Home Residents And Staff Receiving COVID-19 Vaccines Through CVS</li><li><a href="https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/It-feels-like-a-big-relief-San-Antonio-15834979.php" target="_blank">The San Antonio Express-News</a>: ‘It Feels Like A Big Relief;’ San Antonio Assisted Living Residents Get First Dose Of Coronavirus Vaccine Tuesday</li><li><a href="https://wxow.com/2020/12/29/a-lot-of-joy-wi-long-term-care-workers-residents-get-first-vaccines/" target="_blank">WXOW-TV (ABC-La Crosse, WI)</a>: ‘A Lot Of Joy’: WI Long-Term Care Workers, Residents Get First Vaccines</li><li><a href="https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-health/2020/12/27/covid-19-vaccinations-start-arizona-nursing-homes/4016014001/" target="_blank">The Arizona Republic</a>: COVID-19 Vaccines To Begin At Arizona Nursing Homes: ‘They Are Really Celebrating’ </li></ul></div><div><span style="font-size:11pt;"><br>Vaccinating the millions of vulnerable seniors and frontline workers in long term care facilities is a significant undertaking that requires many moving pieces. While the desire for a swift rollout is understandable, AHCA/NCAL has <a href="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/AHCA-NCAL-Issues-Statement-Regarding-COVID-19-Vaccine-Rollout-In-Long-Term-Care.aspx" target="_blank">urged</a> a thoughtful and targeted approach.</span><br></div><div><br></div><div>AHCA/NCAL has launched the <a href="/News-and-Communications/Pages/GetVaccinated.aspx" target="_blank">#GetVaccinated campaign</a> to encourage all residents, families and staff members to consent to the vaccine, as well as celebrate when vaccines are administered to residents and caregivers. AHCA/NCAL remains hopeful that uptake for the vaccine will improve as the pharmacy partnership program continues in the coming weeks and months as more clinics are scheduled.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>ABOUT AHCA/NCAL</strong></div><div>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 14,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit <a href="/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">www.ahcancal.org</a>.<br></div>Every state in the country has activated its pharmacy partnership program for nursing homes, and so far, the response has been positive.

​Guidance & Resources

 AHCA/NCAL

 Vaccines

Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care Program
Vaccine Guidance
Education and Promotion

 CDC

Health Care Facility Resources

 CMS

Memos & Guidance
Resources

 Testing

Regulatory Requirements
Rapid Point-of-Care Antigen Tests

 Finance & Reimbursement

General
Medicare Advantage and ACOs
Medicaid

 Training Programs

AHCA/NCAL

 Additional Resources