COVID-19 Update #277
HFAM Update

We want to thank Maryland Congressman Anthony Brown (D - 4th District) for visiting HFAM member FutureCare National Capital Region to highlight the value and strength of Maryland’s "Care Economy." I also want to offer deep and genuine thanks to Hope Morris on our HFAM team, Congressman Brown's staff, and the FutureCare leadership team for making this visit happen. 

Skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers and assisted living campuses have long faced workforce challenges, and the pandemic has only made these challenges worse. The long-term and the post-acute sector looks forward to our continued work with Congressman Brown and other leaders to support and strengthen the workforce to ensure Marylanders in need continue to receive the highest level of quality care. On the critical issue of workforce recruitment and retention, it is essential that we all promote nursing home jobs as desired positions, advocate for continued adequate funding for quality care, revitalize career pathways, and remove barriers to entry and advancement. This work will be both sprint and marathon, and we will drive towards the finish line together!
As we have previously shared, 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. In addition, click here for a vaccination article from the Baltimore Sun.
Maryland Board of Nursing
A reminder that the renewal period for licensure for credentials with the Maryland Board of Nursing runs from April 1 to June 30, 2021. It is clear that more time will be needed for the Board of Nursing to process the backlog due to the temporary emergency extension of renewals. We also continue to advocate to keep temporary emergency nurses' aides on the job after the state of emergency. Of course, these are two distinct issues. HFAM and other associations will continue to partner in this important work.
HHS Releases Updated PRF Reporting Requirements
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released updated reporting requirements for recipients of Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments. With this announcement, HHS expands the amount of time providers will have to report information, aims to reduce burdens on smaller providers, and extends key deadlines for expending PRF payments for recipients who received payments after June 30, 2020. Some key updates include:

  • The period of availability of funds is based on the date the payment is received (rather than requiring all payments be used by June 30, 2021, regardless of when they were received).

  • Recipients are required to report for each Payment Received Period in which they received one or more payments exceeding, in the aggregate, $10,000 (rather than $10,000 cumulatively across all PRF payments).

  • Recipients will have a 90-day period to complete reporting (rather than a 30-day reporting period).

  • The PRF Reporting Portal will open for providers to start submitting information on July 1, 2021.
Maryland COVID-19 Revenue Supplemental Schedule
The Maryland Department of Health announced today that the due date for submitting the Maryland COVID-19 Revenue Supplemental Schedule is no longer June 30, 2021. The new due date for the Maryland COVID-19 Revenue Supplemental Schedule submission will be no more than 30 days upon the CMS established due date for federal reporting. For information on the COVID-19 Revenue Supplemental Schedule, please see the March 10, 2021 memo.  
June 15 Webinars
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. 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.
Use of Monoclonal Antibody Therapies for COVID-19
AHCA/NCAL to Host OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard Webinar on June 16

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) to address exposure to COVID-19 to workers in health care settings. This health care ETS applies, with some exceptions, to settings where any employee provides health care services or health care support services. AHCA/NCAL is reviewing the ETS and the implications for skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities, and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICFs/IID). AHCA/NCAL will host a members only webinar on Wednesday, June 16 at 3 PM ET to review the ETS and the implications for members. Please register for the webinar in advance. To help best prepare, please submit questions in advance through Survey Monkey. Questions submitted at least 24 hours in advance will be addressed during the webinar. If your question is not answered we will follow up with responses following the webinar. Click here to register.

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

Yesterday, the Maryland Department of Health held a webinar call to update the long-term care sector on COVID-19 developments and best practices. Topics discussed included:

  • COVID-19 Epi Summary
  • Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy - Part 5
  • Assisted Living Guidance Review
  • Electronic Reporting
  • C. auris and Facility Admissions, Part 2
  • FAQs and Audience Polls
  • Q&A

You can view the webinar's PowerPoint presentation here and the chat box here. In addition, please see these C. auris slides from the webinar.

If you have any questions, please email
Reminder! COVID-19 Vaccination Data Submission - DEADLINE JUNE 13

Effective May 21, 2021, nursing homes are required to report resident and staff vaccination information through the NHSN module per CMS’ Interim Final Rule-3414. Any nursing homes that are not reporting this information weekly should do so immediately. Nursing homes that do not submit vaccination data for both residents and staff by 11:59pm June 13, 2021, will be imposed a civil money penalty. Furthermore, a higher civil money penalty will be imposed for each subsequent week that a facility does not report the required information. For more information, see CMS memorandum QSO-21-19-NH.

For information and instructions on how to submit data, please view CDC’s webpage Weekly HCP & Resident COVID-19 Vaccination | LTCF | NHSN | CDC

For questions, please contact the CDC at:
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.  
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.
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