March 24, 2020
Stay Connected - LeadingAge Illinois COVID-19 Resources
Stay up to date on state and federal COVID-19 information and updates by accessing the LeadingAge Illinois COVID-19 Resources page, another way to stay connected is with our new COVID-19 eNewsletter that will be emailed to all LeadingAge Illinois members weekly (or as updates occur), engage with other Illinois members through our listservs connecting you with your peers by provider type. Contact LeadingAge Illinois Membership if you’d like more information about the listservs or would like to join one.
LeadingAge Live Online Coronavirus Daily Member Update
March 24 – April 26 (7 days/week)
2:30 p.m. daily
Everyone must register again for this new series of live online updates. When you register, you will be automatically signed up for every update through April 26. After you register, you will receive an email confirmation with your unique weblink, which you can use every day. There will be no telephone option.

Due to overwhelming response—and in light of the added strain on virtual meeting platforms—members may still have connection problems with live call-ins. Recordings will be available, should you experience access problems.

Also, if you’re a member of both LeadingAge Illinois and LeadingAge National, stay connected with other LeadingAge National Members and share information and resources through the MyLeadingAge Member Community: COVID-19 . This is a place to connect with your peers to share and discuss everyday practices related to the coronavirus. Take a moment now to log into your my.leadingage.org account and join the group to stay connected. LeadingAge also has a COVID-19 webpage with the latest updates, information and resources for members.
STATE
Guidance for Screening and Assessments for Identified Offenders in Long Term Care
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is suspending all in-person resident assessments for the Identified Offenders Program effective immediately.
 
Per March 13, 2020 revised COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), nursing homes are to restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations. Considering public health and public safety priorities and LTC resources, IDPH is instituting the following until further notice:
 
  • Homes should only conduct name-based background checks for residents admitted to the facility. Fingerprinting of LTC residents should be suspended until further notice.
  • Homes should continue to report identified offenders to IDPH using the web-based submission portal.
  • Assessments of identified offender residents will be conducted via phone as feasible, with priority for offenders who pose highest risk of harm.
 
Homes are responsible for taking all steps necessary to ensure the safety of residents at all times. Questions can be emailed to IDPH.
COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Assessment
Long-term care and other congregate care communities need to c omplete a COVID-19 infection prevention and control assessment by March 27, 2020 or as soon as possible. The purpose is to assist communities with prevention and preparations to care for residents with COVID-19. IDPH may follow up to help address any barriers to implementation, infection control gaps, or questions. Questions about this assessment can be directed to IDPH’s Division of Patient Safety and Quality. Questions about COVID-19 preparations and response can be directed to your local health department.
IDFPR Announces Several Actions to Increase the Health Care Professional Workforce During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has announced several actions to increase the number of health care professionals to assist during this critical time. IDFPR has issued a proclamation to allow out-of-state physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and respiratory care therapists to provide care to Illinois residents affected by COVID-19. To hear this and further changes issued by the Department, click here
Source: IDFPR
IDFPR Announces Measures to Assist Licensees and Education Providers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has announced actions affecting the Department's 1.1 million professional licensees as well as its education providers. The IDFPR Secretary has authorized, in a series of Variances , relief from the provisions of certain rules pertaining to license renewal terms and to continuing education requirements.
 
License Renewal
The Secretary has signed a Variance providing that all current licensees whose license renewal deadlines fall within the period beginning March 1, 2020 through and including, July 31, 2020 shall have up to, and including, September 30, 2020, to renew their licenses. These and all of the Department's licensees must continue to comply with all pertinent provisions of their respective licensing Acts.
 
Continuing Education
All current licensees under the Department’s jurisdiction whose license renewal deadlines fall within the period beginning March 1, 2020 through and including July 31, 2020 shall have up to, and including, September 30, 2020 to complete their continuing education coursework. These licensees are permitted to complete their continuing education coursework without having to attend courses in person and may take courses through interactive webinar or online distance education delivery means.
 
The Department has reduced the number of staff required to be physically present in its offices and, where possible, is providing teleworking opportunities . This change will impact normal operations, including additional processing and response times. All Continuing Education requirements MUST be completed at the time of renewal. Applications for renewal must indicate that all Continuing Education requirements are met.
Source: IDFPR
IDoA Guidance on CCU Choices Screening
The Illinois Department on Aging (DoA) has issued guidance on the Choices for Care Pre- & Post-screens during COVID-19 pandemic. The Department also now has a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 information and resources. 
Source: DoA
Employee Fingerprint Background Checks Update
Click here for a list compiled by IDPH with information regarding current operations of Livescan Vendors used for fingerprinting new employees. The list includes information for the various provider types. As a reminder, if you hire someone pending the results of the criminal background check, they have 10 days to have their prints collected after signing the authorization form before they have to be suspended. 
 
If a new hire cannot access a Livescan vendor within a reasonable distance, the provider should document each vendor tried and that it was not open. If the vendor you normally use is closed, please seek another vendor in the area. The State asks providers to exercise good judgement in determining what a “reasonable distance” is.  The State will be reasonable during this time when citing findings of non-compliance. Currently, there do not appear to be any delays with the Illinois State Police in processing fingerprints for the required criminal background checks.
Sources: IDPH/HFS
SIREN Notifications
To get the most up-to-date guidance from the State of Illinois, you can register to receive SIREN - State of Illinois Rapid Electronic Notifications . SIREN provides regional, State and Federal partners with a comprehensive information sharing, collaboration, alerting and notification solution. If you have difficulties registering please contact SIREN.
Source: SIREN
Governor Pritzker Daily Press Conferences
Governor JB Pritzker is conducting daily press 2:30 p.m. conferences on COVID-19. Click here to listen daily.
Childcare Resources
State officials have informed LeadingAge Illinois of resources for workers seeking childcare. The Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA) is a statewide organization which – in partnership with its 16 local Child Care Resources and Referral (CCR&R) agencies – is a recognized leader, catalyst and resource for making high quality, affordable care options available for children and families in Illinois.
 
The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development has coordinated resources on child care and held a webinar on Monday. As we receive further guidance and resources, we will pass on information to members. Click here for the webinar recording .

Effective March 21, 2020, with the closure of daycare centers, the State is allowing for an Emergency Child Care License to care for the children of essential workers . See the quick reference guide for emergency childcare here .
FEDERAL
CMS Guidance for Prioritization Survey Activities
CMS has announced a 3- week temporary suspension of survey activities effective March 20, 2020. During this time, standard surveys for LTC will not be done. This includes revisits not associated with IJ.
 
The surveys are prioritizing as followed: 
 
  • Complaint/facility reported incidents will be triaged at intake and surveys will only be done for those that are evaluated at the IJ level. A streamlined Infection Control review tool will also be utilized during these survey, regardless of IJ allegations.

  • Targeted Infection Control Surveys: CMS and SSA will conduct targeted infection control surveys of providers identified through collaboration with CDC and the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. They will use a streamlined review checklist to minimize the impact on provider activities while ensure providers are implementing actions to protect the health and safety of individuals to respond to the COVID 19 pandemic

  • Self- assessments: The infection control checklist referenced above will also be shared with all providers and self-evaluation is highly encouraged.
 
For those facilities that recently had a survey with findings that are not IJ’s, provider may delay submission of the POC until after the prioritization period. If an on-site survey to confirm compliance is necessary, they may delay submission of the POC. CMS indicated that it will issue guidance on how to verify compliance with these types of citations “in the next few weeks.”
 
Remedies will be suspended as of the beginning date of the prioritization date and CMS will not impose any new remedies to address noncompliance that occurred prior to the prioritization period. This does not apply to IJs. Three month mandatory DOPNAs and six-month mandatory terminations will NOT take place. This does not apply to IJs. You can still appeal cases.
CMS Announces Relief for Clinicians, Providers, Hospitals and Facilities Participating in Quality Reporting Programs in Response to COVID-19
CMS announced it is granting exceptions from reporting requirements and extensions for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs with respect to upcoming measure reporting and data submission for those programs. The action comes as part of the Trump Administration’s response to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Source: CMS
Department of Labor Online Dialogue on Compliance Materials Needed for Expanded Paid Family and Medical Leave Requirements
The U.S. Department of Labor will be hosting a national online dialogue to provide employers and employees with an innovative opportunity to offer their perspective as the Department develops compliance assistance materials and outreach strategies related to the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
 
The ideas and comments gathered from this dialogue will inform compliance assistance guidance, resources, and tools, as well as outreach approaches, that assist employers and employees in understanding their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA. DOL needs employer input by March 29, 2020. Anybody who is interested can participate online through March 29, 2020 or can join a Twitter chat hosted by @ePolicyWorks on March 25, 2020 at 2 p.m. using the hashtag #EPWChat. For more information on the requirements of FFCRA, click here. 
Source: Janis Reyes , SBA
New Federal Legislation
The U.S. House is currently working on legislation that includes a lot more money that would benefit many of our members. Eldercare is on equal footing with childcare, employers with more than 500 employees would be included in the benefits. Late last night, a new version of the House “Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act” was released. We will update you on the progress and provide more information soon. 
Medicaid HCBS Guidance
There is new CMS guidance on HCBS. Here’s an article from LeadingAge explaining what it means for HCBS providers, with a section highlighting implications for adult day services. As you may know, Adult Day in Illinois has been temporarily suspended. 
OTHER UPDATES
Coronavirus in the Senior Living Workplace: Fast Breaking Issues
We are offering a webinar, free to members , on Coronavirus in the Senior Living Workplace: Fast Breaking Issues on Mar 25, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. To register for this webinar, please enter your information here and receive your link to access it.