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 59
October 22, 2020
Governor to Relax Visitation Policies

Today, Governor DeSantis held a Press Conference Roundtable at Amavida Senior Living Community in Ft. Myers to discuss relaxing the current Visitation Policies.

Governor DeSantis said that there have been huge declines in COVID-19 positive cases for residents in senior living communities. That's a huge compliment to all senior living providers -- this is a true testament to the AWESOME and WONDERFUL staff we have working in our communities throughout Florida.

Governor DeSantis has instructed the Department of Emergency Management to issue a new Emergency Order (we will send you a copy of the order when it is published) to allow the following changes to the current Visitation Policies:

  1. Allowing those under 18 years of age to visit residents outside;
  2. Update policies on LTC visitaiton to faciliate more connection;
  3. Allow for outdoor visitation even if the community has COVID positive residents;
  4. As the weather starts to get cooler, outdoor visits will be more comfortable for residents and visitors;
  5. Compassionate caregivers can visit indoors even when positive cases are reported in the community and they do not have to adhere to a social distancing policy; (they can hug their loved ones)
  6. Eliminate the restriction for the "5 person limitation for visitors" --allowing the families and communities to make the decision as to the number of visitors that can visit residents at any one time.

Rapid Tests
  • The state does not require testing of visitors.
  • The Governor suggested that Rapid tests be used for staff and families to allow as much robust visitation as possible.
  • The state is sending Abbott Rapid tests to all ALFs on a weekly basis.
  • The state is offering Rapid tests to independent living providers and senior neighborhoods (like the Villages).

If you are interested in ordering Rapid Tests, please send an email to RapidTestForSeniors@EM.MyFlorida.com

After sending an email, you will receive the following response email:

Thank you for reaching out to the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Please click on the following link to complete a survey for consideration to receive BinaxNOW COVID-19 rapid test kits. Survey - https://maps.floridadisaster.org/SeniorRapidTestSurvey


If you have an opportunity, please watch the Governor's entire press conference by cliicking on the following website link below:


As always, please contact FSLA if you have any questions at info@floridaseniorliving.org

AHCA Notice -- October 22, 2020
 
AHCA’s ESS: Daily Long Term Care Facilities Reporting Update
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Pursuant to Governor Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-51 and at the direction of State Surgeon General Rivkees regarding COVID-19, the Agency for Health Care Administration opened the event “COVID-19 Monitoring” in the Emergency Status System (ESS) to monitor health care facility census, inventory, needs, and other related information statewide.
 
Reporting Update
Effective October 23, 2020, the Agency is eliminating obsolete questions on the “additional info” tab related to the former Curative testing program​.
 
Please continue to report the current Bed Census and Available Beds and the Add’l Info tabs daily by 10 AM ET until further notice. ​
If needed, click the following link to access additional 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) http://ahca.myflorida.com/MCHQ/Emergency_Activities/index.shtml
 
If you require additional assistance with ESS, please contact your AHCA licensing unit:
Assisted Living Unit, 850-412-4304
Long Term Care Services Unit, 850-412-4303

AHCA Notice -- October 22, 2020
 
Mandatory Department of Health COVID-19 Reporting Requirements for Laboratories and Point of Care COVID-19 Testing​
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THIS MESSAGE APPLIES TO FACILITIES AND AGENCIES THAT HAVE A CLIA LABORATORY CERTIFICATION OR 
CLIA CERTIFICATE OF WAIVER OR PLAN TO APPLY
 
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires all federally certified laboratories, including waived labs doing point of care testing, to submit COVID-19 test results (for each individual tested) to the Department of Health within 24 hours of results being known or determined. Laboratories and waived labs MUST report all positive, negative, and indeterminate test results for Florida residents.
 
Reporting must comply with the State of Florida Department of Health (DOH) directives as stated in DOH Emergency Order 20-013, including electronic submission when possible. If electronic submission has not yet been implemented, results must be reported to the applicable Florida County Health Department in a manual, confidential method.
 
The Florida DOH also issued a memo on October 9, 2020 regarding reports for Long-Term Care facility residents and staff for both COVID-19 test results to DOH. A recent Factsheet from DOH provides the reporting process; please review the DOH COVID-19 Reporting Portal Registration Factsheet issued October 13, 2020.  
 
In addition and effective immediately, laboratories and waived labs must report their CLIA identification number with all results.
 
Failure to timely report information by a federally certified laboratory (CLIA) or a CLIA waived laboratory is subject to a civil money penalties of $1,000 for the first day of noncompliance and $500 for each additional day of noncompliance.  
 
AHCA administers the CLIA program on behalf of CMS and will conduct onsite investigations for cases of non-compliance. To request assistance with reporting, please email provider.covid19@flhealth.gov.

HHS Updates Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements
 
Today, HHS issued an announcement that it has revised the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting requirements and broadened the definition of “lost revenue”.

HHS indicated: “In response to concerns raised, HHS is amending the reporting instructions to increase flexibility around how providers can apply PRF money toward lost revenues attributable to coronavirus. After reimbursing healthcare related expenses attributable to coronavirus that were unreimbursed by other sources, providers may use remaining PRF funds to cover any lost revenue, measured as a negative change in year-over-year actual revenue from patient care related sources.”

The amended reporting requirements guidance can be found here. Argentum will continue to review these changes to ensure that they are not overly burdensome for providers.

Background: In September, HHS issued its final PRF reporting guidance, which included an update to its FAQs “to clarify that for purposes of relief payments for lost revenues attributable to COVID-19, recipients must submit information showing a negative change in year-over-year net patient care operating income.” This revision overrode the original reporting requirements outlined by HHS on June 19.

Argentum sent a letter and co-signed a letter with ASHA this week to HHS Secretary Azar, requesting a reinstatement of the original reporting requirements and that the definition of lost revenue be redefined as “any revenue that…a health care provider lost due to coronavirus,” as originally outlined. This revision will help communities adequately account for revenue losses associated with COVID-19. 

Summary:
  • Today, HHS announced a revision to Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting requirements that broadens the definition of “lost revenue” for the purposes of reporting.
  • HHS’ reporting guidance published in September required that recipients show a negative change in YOY net patient care operating income.
  • Argentum and ASHA advocated for and sent letters to HHS requesting that the definition of lost revenue be redefined as “any revenue that…a health care provider lost due to coronavirus,” as originally outlined by HHS in June.
  • This revision will help communities adequately account for revenue losses associated with COVID-19.
  • Argentum is continuing to review these changes to ensure that they are not overly burdensome for providers.

In September, HHS issued its final PRF reporting guidance, which included an update to its FAQs “to clarify that for purposes of relief payments for lost revenues attributable to COVID-19, recipients must submit information showing a negative change in year-over-year net patient care operating income.”

This revision overrode the original reporting requirements outlined by HHS on June 19. Argentum sent a letter and co-signed a letter with ASHA this week to HHS Secretary Azar, requesting a reinstatement of the original reporting requirements and that the definition of lost revenue be redefined as “any revenue that…a health care provider lost due to coronavirus,” as originally outlined.

Today, HHS issued an announcement that it has revised the reporting requirements and broadened the definition of “lost revenue”. They indicated: “In response to concerns raised, HHS is amending the reporting instructions to increase flexibility around how providers can apply PRF money toward lost revenues attributable to coronavirus. After reimbursing healthcare related expenses attributable to coronavirus that were unreimbursed by other sources, providers may use remaining PRF funds to cover any lost revenue, measured as a negative change in year-over-year actual revenue from patient care related sources.” This restoration will assist communities in adequately accounting for revenue losses associated with COVID-19. The amended reporting requirements guidance can be found here. Argentum will continue to review these changes to ensure that they are not overly burdensome for providers.

As a reminder, on October 1, HHS announced the next phase of funding from the PRF, for which assisted living providers are eligible. The Phase 3 distribution is meant to bring all qualified providers to a “baseline” distribution equivalent to 2% of revenue for a single year. Once that threshold has been met for all applicants, HHS will develop a methodology to disburse the remaining funds. The goal of the methodology is to distribute the remaining dollars in a proportionate manner based on revenue losses and increased expenses due to COVID-19.

Applications for the Phase 3 disbursement are due no later than November 6 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Approximately 10-14 days after all applications are received, HHS will announce the methodology and proportion of losses that applicants are to receive. 

Please note: It is important that you apply for Phase 3 even if you haven’t had your first payment processed from the Phase 2 General Distribution. You do not have to wait until your Phase 2 application is processed or funds are received before you can apply for the next round of funding. We strongly urge you to complete your application before the November 6 deadline to ensure that you will be eligible to receive this round of funding. You can read more here about the Phase 3 distribution and how to apply. There is a hotline number available (877-620-6194) for providers who may have questions about TIN verification or PRF applications. Please be sure to let us know if you still have not received TIN verification from your Phase 2 application.