COVID-19 Update #264
HFAM Update

Thank you for all you do. You and your teams continue to provide quality care to Marylanders in need and to save lives. It was my honor to represent you yesterday and speak at Governor Hogan’s Press Conference. Thank you, Futurecare Northpoint, for hosting the event.

  • CLICK HERE for the Baltimore Sun Article on Governor Hogan’s Press Conference.
  • CLICK HERE for the video of Governor Hogan’s Press Conference.
  • CLICK HERE for my remarks from Governor Hogan’s Press Conference.
For several weeks, with increasing vaccination, we have been advocating for updated state guidance on testing, visitation, and cohorting. Last week, CMS updated memos QSO-20-38 and QSO-20-39 and CDC updated the Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination guidance.

Yesterday after the press event, MDH issued new guidance on observation, cohorting and visitation – these changes we advocated for are a powerful step forward. The Directive and Order Regulating Certain Businesses and Facilities & General Directives Concerning Limiting The Spread of COVID-19 also released yesterday rescinds Assisted Living Matters order and directs AL facilities to follow applicable federal guidance.

Here are topline points on the changes:
  • Physical distancing and routine staff testing recommendations have changed, per CDC guidance:
  • Routine testing of fully vaccinated, asymptomatic staff is no longer recommended.
  • Physical distancing is not required for fully-vaccinated residents during communal dining or group activities if all residents and healthcare personnel (HCP) present are fully vaccinated. 
  • Physical distancing is not required for fully vaccinated healthcare personnel (HCP) in break rooms or during in-person meetings.
  • Per the updated MDH order on nursing home matters released yesterday:
  • Aligns testing/ visitation policy for facilities to federal guidance.
  • Allows fully vaccinated new residents/readmits to bypass quarantine upon admission.
  • Changes to CRISP reporting- weekly vaccination data for residents and staff.
  • Adds to requirements of the facilities vaccination contact to:
  • Ensure the vaccination data is updated weekly and posted in the facility for the public.
  • Ensure that their facility establishes a relationship with a vaccine provider by May 30.
  • Please click HERE and HERE for our two previous updates on these new MDH orders.
On the MDH Vaccination Dashboard that was announced yesterday, I know we will all take this push to vaccinate seriously. We will work collaboratively to promote vaccination uptake and continue to work with MDH on accurate numbers and to advocate for other entities, like hospitals, to report. A recurring theme in all things vaccination is that supply has not been consistent. There were times when demand was higher, supply was lower, and vice versa. We continue to advocate for hospitals to have a sufficient supply of J&J so they can vaccinate patients before discharge to our sector. 

  • ACTION ITEM #1: As we have previously shared, it is a state priority for all nursing homes to register with ImmuNet. Once centers are registered, they can receive vaccines directly. 
  • ACTION ITEM #2: As of this update, only 60 percent of Remedi’s current post-acute and long-term care clients have signed a COVID-19 vaccination agreement with the pharmacy. It is urgent that clients of Remedi, OmniCare, and the MHA Pharmacy Collaborative finalize agreements as soon as possible to provide vaccines in the near term.
  • ACTION ITEM #3: The updated MDH order for nursing homes requires each facility to identify a vaccination point of contact. In order to assist with this effort, please ensure your centers fill out this brief SURVEY as soon as possible.
So many times over the last year, we have Zoomed, spoke, emailed, and updated on the changing landscape of our fight against COVID-19. Essential themes in those discussions:
  • Focus on what is in your control and not what is out of your control.
  • Overcommunicate.
  • Adapt and innovate.
  • Rely on your partnerships.
  • Speak up when you need help.
  • Double efforts on infectious disease protocols, training, and operations.
  • 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.
Onward together!

Be well,
Joe DeMattos
President and CEO
National Skilled Nursing Care Week
The theme for National Skilled Nursing Care Week (NSNC​​W) 2021 is "Together Through the Seasons." NSNCW will take place May 9-15, 2021, and the theme​ will honor the collaborative commitment of skilled nursing care facilities and their staff in providing compassionate care to their residents during this unprecedented time. 
Over the past year, despite the challenges of the pandemic, skilled care centers and their staff have shown an incredible and steadfast commitment to providing quality care and ensuring the safety of their residents. 
NSNCW 2021 will focus on this collective effort and the amazing strength and dedication of those who work tirelessly every day to care for and protect frail, elderly, and disabled adults in long term care. With each new season comes new beginnings, new strategies, and new information. Together we will get through this and together we will begin to heal. 
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!
Did you miss an update?

Visit our website to view all previous HFAM alerts, as well as guidance
from our federal and state partners.
Health Facilities Association of Maryland WW.HFAM.ORG