COVID-19 Update #275
HFAM Update

Remember that time when not taking the vaccine cost you $1.6 million or the time that taking it won you $400k?
Professional golfer Jon Rahm was in the zone playing in the PGA Memorial Tournament last Saturday. He was hitting the ball long, straight, scrambling to get out of trouble, and making birdies. As he strove off the 18th green, he had a six-stroke lead and was well on his way to a win. As a non-vaccinated player, he was subject to contact tracing protocols as he had come in close contact with a person who was COVID positive. While Rahm was on the golf course Saturday, his latest test came back positive. Rahm was forced to withdraw from the tournament. Had he gotten the vaccine when it was available in his home state of Arizona in March, the outcome could have been much different. We will never know because he did not take the vaccine. We do know he did not win the trophy or the $1.6 million. Click here for the article.
It's also pretty cool that here in Maryland, the Governor announced that Maryland residents 18 and older who received a COVID-19 vaccination in Maryland are eligible to win $40k each day between May 25 and July 3 and that one winner will win a $400,000 grand prize on the Fourth of July. And, we don’t even have to hit a golf ball!
Pushing aside the lightheartedness, we know perhaps better than any other community that taking or not taking the COVID-19 vaccine has consequences. With the vaccines and our clinical learnings over the last year and a half, COVID-19 cases and deaths are down, outbreaks in long-term care settings are down, general public mask mandates are gone, sports, summer camps, travel, and indoor dining are all returning to normal. But until we increase vaccination rates, both generally and in our sector, COVID-19 will continue to have a foothold, outbreaks will continue, and some deaths will continue to occur. Taking the COVID-19 vaccine is still the most significant and tangible action any of us can take to save a life and return to normalcy.
A personal story: When my 12-year-old son knew he could get the vaccine, he was super excited. Here's what he said, "Daddy, the first thing I am going to do is to have you drive me to grandma's to hug her. It's been over a year, and that's too long."

Finally, I want to offer my highest commendation, appreciation, and respect to the healthcare heroes and leaders of SavaSeniorCare Administrative and Consulting LLC., who will require all team members to be vaccinated by July 31, 2021. I look for more leading organizations in healthcare, hospitals, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, and assisted living campuses to require team members to be vaccinated or to file for isolated religious or medical exemptions in advance and in writing.
On June 15, we are offering these two important online events:

1.) Strategies to Improve Vaccine Acceptance Among Long Term Care Workers of Color
Join HFAM, LifeSpan, and the Maryland Patient Safety Center on June 15 at 11:00 am ET for a free webinar: “Strategies to Improve Vaccine Acceptance Among Long Term Care Workers of Color.” The COVID-19 pandemic strained our healthcare institutions in unimaginable ways. Long term care communities, characteristically, are at an increased vulnerability and vaccination will play a key role in our ability to respond to surges, protect our residents and employees, and maintain a healthy workforce. In this webinar, Dr. Rochester will present data regarding vaccine acceptance among healthcare workers of color and explore the roots of vaccine hesitancy. Attendees will be introduced to strategies for increasing COVID-19 vaccine acceptance using a methodology centered around empathic communication and employee engagement. Click here to register.
2.) Use of Monoclonal Antibody Therapies for COVID-19
Join AHCA/NCAL and partners for an upcoming webinar on June 15 at 3 pm ET on the Use of Monoclonal Antibodies (mAb) Therapies for COVID-19: A Review of New Treatments and At-Risk Populations. HHS clinicians will present the importance of using mAb post vaccine and a panel from AMDA, LeadingAge, and AHCA on their experience using mAb to date. This webinar is available to everyone free of charge. If you cannot attend the live webinar, be sure to register – all registrants will be notified when the recording is made available. 
ImmuNet – Register Now
We expect a future Maryland Department of Health order that will REQUIRE skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers to register with ImmuNet and to have freezers onsite so that they can receive direct allocations of the vaccine. With ongoing vaccination efforts, it is more critical than ever that your center register ASAP with ImmuNet. Again, once centers are registered, they can receive vaccines directly. Click here for an ImmuNet registration guide and click here for a vaccine storage requirements FAQ.
As Always:
  • 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.
Joe DeMattos
President & CEO
MDH Webinar Recap

Last week, the Maryland Department of Health held a webinar call to update the long-term care sector on COVID-19 developments and best practices. The call was recorded, in case you were unable to join or would like to review the topics discussed, which included:

  • COVID-19 Epi Summary
  • Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy - Part 4
  • Vaccine Storage Requirements
  • Discordant POC/PCR Results
  • CRISP/NHSN Reporting
  • Project Firstline
  • FAQs
  • Q&A

You can also view the webinar's PowerPoint presentation here and the chat box here.

In addition, please see this MDH document that further defines terminology used in the CRISP unified landing page app and clarifies the reporting process for weekly Wednesday resident and staff vaccination submissions.

If you have any questions, please email
Nursing Home Media Toolkit

Check out the new Nursing Home Media Toolkit from the Maryland Department of Health. The password to access the materials is Vaccine2021.

Please use the materials in this media toolkit to spread the word about vaccination with staff.

You'll find flyers, ads, social media posts, videos, and posters. 
Complete the Survey: How Is Your LTC Organization Doing in 2021?

AHCA/NCAL is asking providers (SNF, AL, ID/DD) to complete a 15-minute survey to gauge how the industry is faring in 2021. Providers will be asked about several topics, including workforce, vaccines, personal protective equipment, and finances. You may download a copy of the questionnaire if you wish to gather the necessary information before filling it out online. 
Your participation will help AHCA/NCAL address questions from policymakers and advocate for ongoing resources to the profession. Please complete the survey by the end of the day on Friday, June 11.  
2021 Professional Liability Study
Marsh’s National Senior Care Practice and Oliver Wyman’s Actuarial Practice are conducting a 2021 update to their Professional and General Liability Benchmark Report for Long Term Care Providers.  As you may recall, last year Marsh/Oliver Wyman conducted the Long Term Care Professional Liability Benchmark for the first time. Their data call for the 2021 report is open now. This will be the first year with COVID-19 claims so we would like to assist them in getting as broad participation as feasible.
The information presented in this study is a critical component in various insurance industry initiatives and supports multiple state tort reform efforts. Especially relevant for 2021 will be the effect that the pandemic has had on losses. This benchmark study is also an important resource relied upon by insurance carriers, actuaries, and of course, long term care and senior living providers. We hope you will consider participating in this benchmark study to enhance the quality of this initiative. 
The information Marsh and Oliver Wyman are collecting includes: 
1.  Individual claim listing (excluding Protected Health Information) in Excel-readable format valued as 12/31/2020.
2.  Occupied bed equivalent exposure information for the past 10 calendar years, if available. 
As the 2021 study kicks off, we welcome and would appreciate your participation for the upcoming analysis. Upon data submission we will provide diagnostic information about your own data including various metrics, e.g., frequency and severity claim statistics; closing year, report year, and accident year statistics; open and closed claim statistics; and an exposure analysis. We will review the data diagnostics and contact you to discuss any potential anomalies.
As with the 2020 report, there is no cost to participate, and all participants will receive a copy of the report and an invitation to the presentation of the results. We only ask for your assistance in obtaining the necessary data. Please reach out to us if you have any questions. 
If you are interested in participating or have questions, please contact Oliver Wyman at before July 31, 2021.
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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