COVID-19 Update #254
HFAM Update

A quick update on a couple of important points:
  • We continue to press the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) on reducing the observation cohorting requirement. Today I had a good exchange with Maryland leaders on this. Please see this joint association letter we sent in March.

  • We have almost daily calls on state-led vaccination efforts in our sector. MDH wants to get residents, patients, and staff in skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers vaccinated in the short-term (the next 4-6 weeks) and is continuing to deploy the Guard, which they began last week. Based on our call with the state today, Guard teams will now contact centers regarding upcoming vaccine clinics 72 hours in advance (rather than 48 hours in advance). We all bear the public affairs and public health burden that we must increase staff uptake of the vaccine. As we navigate the next 4-6 weeks and as we have previously shared, the state has prioritized their ask for all nursing homes to register with ImmuNet (see more below). Once centers are registered, they can receive J&J vaccines directly from the state. Interestingly, in my calls to Montgomery County nursing homes today, it seems that hospitals in that jurisdiction are vaccinating with J&J before discharging to our sector.  


  • People first, quality counts.
  • Be prepared to deploy people and PPE around your organization.
  • Our sector MUST double our efforts on infectious disease protocol, staffing, and PPE.
  • Train, train, and train teams again on infectious disease protocol.
  • Recognize that COVID-19 fatigue is an issue across the county, not just in our sector.
  • Overcommunicate with residents, patients, families, staff, and government partners.
  • Sound alarms early.
  • Work with your hospital partners, and coordinate with local and state regulatory partners.
  • Take and document your action; keep a timeline.
  • CLICK HERE for the Dr. Katz Video, and please see the Donning and Doffing Checklist we have been sharing.
Joe DeMattos
President and CEO
Important: Register for ImmuNet
As we have previously shared, it will be important for providers in our sector to register with ImmuNet so that the State may allocate the vaccine directly to nursing homes and others. The ImmuNet Help Desk email is:
A proposed rule went on display today at the Office of the Federal Register’s Public Inspection Desk, which can be downloaded HERE.

You can find the FY 2022 SNF PPS proposed rule fact sheet on this website.

The FY 2022 SNF PPS – proposed rule wage index file will be posted HERE.

Also, a file to aid stakeholders with evaluating and providing comments on the methodology discussed in the proposed rule for recalibrating the PDPM parity adjustment is posted on this website.
The 2021 HFAM Conference “Together We Re-Imagine” will be held in person October 4 – 7, 2021 at the Maryland Live Hotel and Casino in Hanover, Maryland. Hundreds of long-term care leaders will connect, share best practices and discuss actionable insights on how we can reflect, reform, rebuild, and revolutionize quality care. You and your teams will not want to miss this opportunity as we come together again.

Visit the conference website to learn more and register.
Thank you to our current sponsors!
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Health Facilities Association of Maryland WW.HFAM.ORG