Please keep reading our information because it changes every day. Below is the latest information provided to the association -- please note that we will continue to send updates as soon as we receive any new information.
COVID-19 UPDATE 37
Wishing You, Your Families and Residents a Happy 4th of July
 
FSLA hopes that you enjoy your 4 th of July weekend, but please remind your staff to be mindful to practice social distancing while out and about – wear a mask, avoid crowds, wash your hands, etc. We all need to do our part to keep our seniors and fellow staff safe!
FSLA Conducts Weekly Member Zoom Calls to Provide New Information and Answer Questions
 
During this week's FSLA member zoom call, the following information was shared with members that could be of interest to everyone:

  • 14-Day Testing -- Please use calendar days when calculating the 14-day testing requirement.
  • Not Required to be Tested -- The following are not required to be tested before entering your building but they are required to be screened, if possible:
  • EMTs -- EMS agencies throughout the state were told that they must comply with screening procedures if there is not an absolute emergency to go into a facility. 
  • Families who are going to be spending time with a loved one at their end of life should be screened and wearing full PPE
  • Movers and Delivery drivers are not required to be tested but should be screened and wearing full PPE.
  • Remain Compliant with Local Ordinances -- Click on this Website Link to review a list of all local ordinances sorted by county. Did you know that Florida has more than 40 separate local mask ordinances?
  • Visitation Effective Date -- The effective date of the visitation ban (DEM Emergency Order 20-006) is linked to the effective dates of Governor Executive Order 20-52, which was extended by Governor Executive Order 20-114 through July 7, 2020. FSLA expects to see the ban continue. The Governor, Surgeon General, DEM Secretary and AHCA Secretary have been vocal that the ban is needed. Governor's practice has been to not extend orders until day of expiration, even sometimes late in the evening.

Excerpts from AHCA's 7/1/20 Industry Partner Call

Below are some excerpts from AHCA’s 7/1/20 Industry Partner Call. FSLA members, be sure to register for our next zoom conference call on Wed. July 8 to get the full scoop! Registration link coming soon!

  • Consent -- Communities must confirm that they have obtained written AND verbal consent from staff to share the test results. Until this can be confirmed, communities cannot proceed with testing that staff person.
  • 3rd Parties -- If a third party service provider holds the contract with the ALF, they should be included in the ESS field and included in the ALF’s scheduled testing with state resources. If the third party service provider holds the contract with the resident, they may utilize other testing resources or be included in the ALF’s scheduled testing.
  • Testing Dates -- The every-two-week testing cycle may be from either the staff person’s last test date (specimen collection) or from July 7. AHCA is leaving that decision to the discretion of the community to provide as much flexibility as possible.

FSLA hopes that our regular COVID-19 updates and communications have been helpful. We would like to invite you to join the association to participate in member activities and receive additional member news and information.
ALF Testing for Home Health and Hospice Staff
 
FSLA staff reached out this week to our colleagues at the Florida Hospice Association and the Florida Home Care Association. These organizations represent hospices and home health agencies that provide services in assisted living communities and nursing homes in Florida.

Both associations are well aware of the 6/15 Routine Testing Rule (59AER20-4) and have been communicating with their members about their inclusion in the definition of staff, the 6/15-7/7 testing window to be eligible for access after July 7, and the every-two-week testing mandate.

The association representatives told us that, on their recent Home and Community Based Conference Call with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) Secretary Mary Mayhew, that she encouraged hospice and home health care providers to communicate with the LTC facilities to assure that their team members are included in the test kit counts provided to the testing vendor, Curative.

This aligns with what we heard from AHCA on the 4:15 p.m. 7/1/20 LTC Stakeholder call (video stops 13:50; 28:25). If a third-party care provider is contracted with the ALF, they should be included in the ESS field and tested using the state-provided kits.  But, please make sure that you have enough testing kits and that all of your staff are tested first.

If the third-party care provider is contracted with the resident, they may be tested by the ALF with the state-provided kits, or they may obtain testing from other available testing sources. In both cases, the third-party care providers must be tested by July 7 (as of this writing) and must be tested every two weeks thereafter.

The ESS field used to capture the number of testing kits reads: “Total number of all employees (i.e. clinical, housekeeping, nutrition, maintenance, administration, and contract)”
AHCA Issues New Guidance on June 30, 2020
 
AHCA’s ESS: Reporting Updates - Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Providers
________________________________________________
 
Pursuant to Governor Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-51 and at the direction of State Surgeon General Rivkees, regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Agency for Health Care Administration opened the event “COVID-19 Monitoring” in the Emergency Status System (ESS) to monitor health care provider census, inventory, needs, and other related information statewide.
 
ESS Update for Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Providers
Effective today, June 30, 2020, the event tab labeled “Add’l Info” has been updated. The ESS will now require entry of fields related to your facility's Curative testing status.  
 
Please answer all that apply to your facility and be sure to answer the remaining questions daily by 10 AM ET.  The Long Term Care Facility Addtional Info Entry - Questions Guidance has been created to provide additional guidance for reporting correctly.
 
All Long Term Care Facilities
  • The “Add’l Info” tab should be updated daily by 10 AM ET until further notice.
  • Questions on this screen may vary so be sure to read carefully each time you go to enter info.
  • You may view previous responses by using the “History” table at the bottom of this screen.

  • Ensure the “Facility Contacts” section is up-to-date. 

  • Please report Current Resident Census and available beds in your facility daily by 10 AM ET until further notice.


  • Update your Hurricane Season information including generator status now.

  • For reporting purposes, update the “Resource Needs” event tab in ESS as well.
  • Include the mission number(s) assigned by your local Emergency Operations Center.

If needed, click the following website link either here or below to access instructions for entering facility data for events (see pages 1-4 of the document “How to Locate and Enter Event Information” under the Details column) 

 
Providers are encouraged to frequently monitor Florida Department of Health and CDC websites for updated guidance on COVID-19 and testing. 
 
If you require additional assistance with ESS, please contact your AHCA licensing unit during normal business hours:

  • Long Term Care Services Unit, at 850-412-4303
  • Assisted Living Unit, at 850-412-4304
  • Hospital and Outpatient Services Unit, at 850-412-4549
AHCA Updates the Testing Q&As
 
The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has updated their testing Q&As and posted the new document on their website.
Download FSLA's "# High Alert" Staff Poster & Resource Document

During the holiday weekend, the Surgeon General reminds everyone to avoid the 3 C's:
  • Closed Spaces;
  • Crowded Places; and
  • Close Contact Settings.

Even though the Governor closed the bars this week, staff still have opportunities to visit gyms, vacation rentals, malls, restaurants and movie theaters. The number and rate of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise statewide — a troubling indicator that the disease could be spreading more quickly.

FSLA developed a poster appropriate for posting in break rooms, in payroll envelopes and on community bulletin boards – wherever your staff gathers at work – to echo the message:  Our Staff Works in Health Care and Serves a Vulnerable Population.

Don’t Wait - Apply Now!

CARES Act Medicaid-CHIP Funding Available Until July 20

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced additional distributions from the Provider Relief Fund targeted to eligible providers that participate in the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs.

The payment will be approximately 2% of reported gross revenue from patient care. The deadline to apply is July 20, 2020 .

Providers should begin their application now.

To qualify providers must meet the following criteria:

  • No payment received from the original $50 billion General Distribution
  • You do qualify even if you received Paycheck Protection Program or FEMA funds!
  • Billed Medicaid/CHIP or Medicaid/CHIP managed care plans for services between Jan. 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2019.
  • You do not need to be a “medical” provider to receive these funds.
  • Filed a federal income tax return for fiscal years 2017, 2018, or 2019; or be exempt from filing a return.
  • Provided patient care after January 31, 2020.
  • Not permanently ceased providing patient care directly, or indirectly; and
  • Have gross receipts or sales from providing care reported on Form 1040.

Not sure if you qualify? Apply now and find out! There are several steps, and each must be completed before you can move to the next step. Please refer to the AHCA Medicaid-CHIP Funding Fact Sheet for more information.

Please note that the application currently requires a license number (this is separate from your Medicaid/CHIP ID), but HHS is working to fix this issue, so non-licensed providers should not let this requirement stop them from beginning the process.

Information about the application process can be found on the HHS website. If you have questions contact the HHS Provider Support line at (866) 569-3522, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday – Friday
Know Your Evacuation Zone
 
With hurricane season heating up while COVID-19 remains a threat, people across Florida are asking the same question, “Should I evacuate if a hurricane threatens my area this year?” To answer this question, download a copy of know your zone and know your home .

Evacuation zones are designated from A to F. Generally, Zone A is most vulnerable and most likely to be evacuated first, and Zone F is most likely to be evacuated last. Take the time now to find out which zone you are in and remember to pay attention to local authorities during a storm to find out if an evacuation is ordered. Know your zone today by visiting https://floridadisaster.org/knowyourzone.

Take a look to see where your zone is at Know Your Zone Map .
Hospitalizations Aren't Increasing at Same Rapid Rate as New COVID Cases

According to the latest Florida Chamber of Commerce membership update, while the number of COVID-19 cases have increased significantly over the last week, hospitalizations and deaths haven’t reciprocated with a correlated increase (at least not yet). Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish, who spoke during FSLA's Legislative Workshop, continues to analyze COVID-19 data and report on it daily on www.TheFloridaScorecard.org

Dr. Parrish’s latest analysis compares the spike in reported COVID-19 cases between June 1 and June 30, and the percent increase, to the number of hospitalizations and deaths reported during the same time period. As you can see, at this time, the percentage increase in hospitalizations and deaths is not increasing at the rapid rate of positive cases. We will continue to monitor this as it’s a fluid situation and could change – up or down.  
DOH Extends Emergency Orders Set to Expire on June 30

The Florida Department of Health Emergency Order Number 20-011 extends Emergency Orders 20-001 and 20-002 which were set to expire yesterday. This order is effective immediately and has been filed with the Agency Clerk.   
Mark Your Calendar for the Next AHCA Weekly Provider/Health & Regulatory Partner
Conference Call

Thursday, July 9, at 4:15 p.m. EST
Dial 1-866-951-1151 and enter Room Number 8484844#
*Please note there are limited lines available for this call.
As a reminder, all calls are recorded and posted to the FHCA website here .  
 
You Are Awesome!!!
Just Remember that We Work in Health Care and We Make a Difference in the Lives We Serve Every Day!!