COVID-19 Update #293
HFAM Update

First and Most Important

This is NOT the time to let our guard down on infectious disease protocols or in peer-to-peer outreach on vaccination. We are entering a troubling and challenging time in the current surge. As our country is once again experiencing an increase in coronavirus cases, it is imperative that we rally together to continue to provide quality care to Marylanders in need in our sector.

Please see the below segment in this email for details regarding an upcoming webinar hosted by AHCA and other national leaders on staying vigilant against COVID-19.
Medicaid Third Party Liability (TPL) Audits

On a separate note, here is a joint association TPL letter to the Maryland Department of Health that we recently authored, along with the MDH response letter agreeing to our suggestions.

Antibody Testing

In the coming days and weeks, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is looking into sampling about 500 individual patients/residents in our settings for COVID-19 antibodies. These samples could be new draws with MDH staff or taken from remnant samples. Obviously, this goal will be to determine the effectiveness of initial vaccination after all these months. Just a real-time heads-up; stay tuned for details, this is fast developing.


We’ve been messaging for weeks now about the coming need for seasonal flu vaccination and COVID-19 booster vaccination. It is expected that skilled nursing centers will directly administer boosters, especially to residents and patients. That time will come sooner rather than later; likely in the coming weeks at this point. This is why the ImmuNet registration we have been promoting for several months is so vital. Click here for a previous HFAM update with detailed information about registering for ImmuNet.
Monoclonal Antibody New EUA
  • Regeneron can be used for post exposure prophylaxis for unvaccinated persons at high risk and for those who have been vaccinated but not expected to have mounted an adequate immune response, even with the vaccine.
  • Regeneron may be administered subcutaneously when IV infusion is not available in a timely manner.
  • Regeneron can be ordered directly through the supplier - AmerisourceBergen

 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.
Onward together!
Joe DeMattos
President and CEO
Maryland Department of Health - Rapid Point-Of-Care (POC) Testing Supplies Request

If your center needs to place a request for Rapid Point of Care POC testing supplies, please use this form from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH).

All Rapid POC Testing Supplies Requests are reviewed on a weekly basis. Therefore, we would encourage you to submit this request for Rapid POC Testing Supplies at least two weeks in advance of the date that you will need the supplies in your possession. Submission of a request later than two weeks in advance does not automatically result in your request being denied.

Please note that this is a request, and submission of this request does not guarantee any allocation of Rapid POC Testing Supplies.

If you have questions regarding submission of this request, you can contact
Upcoming Webinar: Stay Vigilant Against Covid-19. Prepare. Protect. Prevent.

As our country is once again experiencing an increase in coronavirus cases, it is imperative that we rally together to protect our most vulnerable populations. Please join AHCA/NCAL, LeadingAge, Direct Supply, Argentum, ASHA, and other leading industry leaders and professionals to learn more about the state of the virus from world-renowned medical expert and immunologist Dr. Deborah Birx. During this webinar, ​learn about the current state of this deadly virus and the actions that must be taken to fight against highly contagious COVID-19 variants.

What: Stay Vigilant Against COVID-19. Prepare. Protect. Prevent. Webinar
When: Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 10 AM EST
RSVP: Deadline Monday, August 16, 2021 at 5 PM EST

To RSVP: Please fill out this form to ensure you are on the attendee list. You must use your work email address and attend the webinar using that same email address. Please note, NO personal emails or phone numbers will be allowed in to the webinar.

You will receive the webinar link on Tuesday, August 17, 2021.​​​
New #GetVaccinated Handouts Help Answer Common Questions and Implement Mandates

As efforts continue to increase staff vaccination rates in long term care, AHCA/NCAL has created new materials to help support long term care providers. Three new handouts cover common questions raised by staff members when considering whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

NEW TRAINING AVAILABLE – Section K: Height, Weight, and Nutritional Approaches for SNF Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering a web-based training course that provides an overview of the assessment and coding of K0200: Height and Weight and K0500: Nutritional Approaches. This 30-minute course is intended for providers in Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) and is designed to be used on demand anywhere you can access a browser. The course includes interactive exercises to test your knowledge related to the assessment and coding of K0200 and K0510.

The training can be accessed through the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Training webpage. 

If you have questions about accessing the course or feedback regarding the training, please email the PAC Training mailbox at Content-related questions should be submitted to the SNF QRP Help Desk at
N95 Mask Fit Testing
Here is a link to an excellent video on Mask Fit Testing and a step-by-step instruction guide, developed by trained mask fit tester, Sarah Cross, RN IP/IC RN Coordinator, LifeBridge Health. Note: it is highly recommended that you watch the video before trying mask fit testing on your own.
As part of a Center’s respiratory protection program anyone needing to be mask fitted, first needs to be determined medically eligible to be fit tested. Use this OSHA3789 form for the medical evaluation.
All employees should be test fitted annually, also employees need to be test fitted when the center changes their supply/brand of mask.  
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.

Safety is our top priority. Please note that proof of vaccination will be required for attendance.

Visit the conference website to learn more and register.
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