COVID-19 Update #280
HFAM Update - Juneteenth, Temporary Nursing Assistants, "Know Your Risk" Campaign


First, let's take a moment to honor you and your teams for the quality care you provide to Marylanders in need while we navigate better days of the COVID-19 pandemic and look ahead to the long road of recovery. To be sure, we all face many challenges ahead. With clear goals, unity, determination, and a focus on quality, we will get through the challenges together. Thanks to your teams, all you've learned, and vaccination, toady only 13 skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers and 7 assisted living campuses have single or small COVID-19 outbreaks. Wow!

Today Governor Larry Hogan announced that state government agencies and offices will be closed on Friday, June 18, 2021 in observance of Juneteenth National Independence Day. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This week Congress passed and sent legislation to the desk of President Biden making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday and joining 48 states that currently observe the important date in some way. Tomorrow, HFAM offices will be closed in observation of Juneteenth.

Last year the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with social justice unrest and protest, shone a bright light on issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, social determents of health, healthcare disparities, and healthcare equity. Last year I wrote, "With COVID-19, the economic crisis, and protests for social justice, this Juneteenth takes on special meaning . . . Now is a time for truth, honesty, and action. It took centuries for us to come to this place, and it will take years for us to the right course. But the heavy burden we face cannot stop us from beginning to take action in this work today." Click Here for our HFAM Juneteenth message from last year.

I appreciate the contributions made to our diversity, inclusion, and equity work by our members Deborah Graves, Regina Figueroa, Owen Gardner, and our consultant Candace Dodson-Reed. I am proud that HFAM's first-ever Facebook live was on these topics, and I am certain that we will have more conversations and take more action. Together, we will travel the road less traveled, and all the hills, valleys, meadows, and plains that it passes through. Together, we will make a difference.
Additional Updates:

Yesterday, I was so blessed to visit with administrator Aaron Smith and Director of Nursing Iyabode Alliu— what exceptional, gifted, and passionate leaders. I am so impressed with all they have accomplished in their center, including but not limited to their onsite GNA program and running emergency GNA's through that program.

IMPORANT! As a reminder, Governor Hogan's most recent executive orders extended the medical licensure renewal deadline to August 15, 2021. Please have your teams file ASAP for licensure renewal. As of today, across all healthcare settings, there are 47,000 outstanding licensure renewals of LPNs, RNs, and CNAs at the Maryland Board of Nursing.

If members of your team have renewed their license but have not heard back from the Board of Nursing or are encountering issues with renewals in the online system, please send us a list of those individuals at your center who are having problems. Please include their name, designation (LPN, RN, CNA, GNA, etc...), and license number. Next week, we will send additional information from MBON on the renewal process.

“Know Your Risk” Campaign:

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) recently launched “Know Your Risk,” a new statewide campaign to raise awareness and prevention of prediabetes. Marylanders are encouraged to take a one-minute online quiz to assess their risk for prediabetes, discuss the results with their doctor, and make lifestyle changes if necessary. The campaign supports prevention goals outlined in Maryland’s Diabetes Action Plan, the state’s multi-faceted strategy to address diabetes over the next decade.

According to the Maryland Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 10.5 percent of Maryland adults have diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 1.6 million, or 34 percent, of Maryland adults have prediabetes, a condition of elevated blood sugar that could lead to type 2 diabetes. However, 9 out of 10 people with prediabetes know neither their status nor their risk for diabetes. 
HFAM is committed to our partnership with MDH and others to advance the vital work to significantly improve population health targets such as diabetes. As we have often shared relative to chronic health conditions generally and diabetes specifically, that many of the frontline healthcare heroes working in Maryland hospitals, skilled nursing centers, and assisted living campuses are just a single health episode away from becoming a patient themselves.

To help in this work, HFAM has partnered with GivHero, an app that engages employees in high-value health and wellness challenges through intrinsic motivation and connection to social causes. We are looking forward to hosting additional health and wellness challenges over time and finding ways to engage employees of the long-term and post-acute care sector to improve health outcomes. Be on the lookout for a new GivHero challenge coming soon!
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
Get Your Questions About the Vaccine Answered at the #GetVaccinated Virtual Townhall

Still not sure about getting the COVID-19 vaccine? AHCA/NCAL will hold a virtual townhall event for long term care staff on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, from 4:30pm ET to 5:30pm ET as part of its nationwide #GetVaccinated campaign. 

The COVID-19 vaccines have made a tremendous impact on the long term care sector, as cases and deaths have dropped to historic lows. Although we have come a long way, we know there is more work to do to improve vaccine confidence.  

AHCA/NCAL is committed to ensuring that all long term care staff are equipped with the with the facts so they can make an informed decision. The virtual townhall will feature a panel of trusted medical professionals, including AHCA/NCAL Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Gifford, who will discuss the importance and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, and answer questions from attendees. Also hear directly from frontline caregivers in long term care about their experience. 

The event is open to all staff and is free to attend. Click HERE to register. It will also be livestreamed on AHCA/NCAL’s Facebook page. 

If you’re already vaccinated, you can still participate! Tell us in the chat about your experience and why you decided to #GetVaccinated. Or share your story through the #GetVaccinated website. If you have colleagues who have yet to get vaccinated, encourage them to attend! 

AHCA/NCAL’s #GetVaccinated campaign is funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help educate and encourage caregivers and staff at long term care facilities to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Visit for more information.
Important Reminders

HHS Releases Updated PRF Reporting Requirements: 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. Click here to read more from AHCA/NCAL.

Maryland COVID-19 Revenue Supplemental Schedule: The Maryland Department of Health announced recently 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.  

COVID-19 Vaccination Data Submission to NSHN: 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 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. Please note that CMS decided to delay imposing automatic CMPs to this coming Sunday, June 20 -- please ensure your facility's data is submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 20.

For more information, see CMS memorandum QSO-21-19-NH. If you have any additional questions, please contact the CDC at:
REMINDER: Updated Executive Orders and Orders from the Maryland Department of Health


  • Expiration dates for all licenses, permits, and registrations issued by the Board of Nursing will extend to August 15, 2021. Please be sure to renew your license ASAP!

  • Effective July 1, 2021, certain orders will end including the order mandating the wearing of face coverings
  • Effective Aug 15, 2021, certain other orders will end

  • Effective Aug 15, 2021, authority of the Comptroller to extend certain timelines ends

  • Adds provision that skilled nursing facilities register in ImmuNet as a COVID-19 provider by July 15, 2021

  • Effective July 1, 2021, certain MDH orders will terminate including the order pertaining to face coverings
  • Effective August 15, 2021, all existing COVID-19 MDH orders, guidance documents, and bulletins will terminate
  • Effective December 31, 2021, certain MDH orders will terminate, including the Healthcare Matters order, the Nursing Home Matters order, and the Vaccination Matters order

  • Continues requirement that each COVID-19 vaccine administered be reported within 24 hours of administration

  • Continues provision to authorize local health officers to order quarantine and isolation of certain individuals
  • Extends certain patient transfer items
Free Counseling, Stress Management and Crisis Support for Long-term Care Staff

Counseling Stress Management and crisis support is available for staff at assisted living facilities, group homes, as well as nursing homes. The Maryland COVID-19 Crisis Support Program offers free, confidential counseling support to ALL employees of Maryland’s long-term health care facilities impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Services are also available in Spanish.  Learn more about receiving support services for yourself or your organization. Fill out this form or, for urgent requests, call 1-800-648-3001. For questions, 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. 
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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