Coronavirus Update #178
New MD Think Memo, MDH Webinar Recap, Voting Guide, COVID Updates & Webinars, Medicare Open Enrollment, Reminder on Clinical Guidance, Flu Shot Reminders
MD Think Update

NEW MEMO: Please see this important memo from the Maryland Department of Health regarding the recent MD Think Update that took place on October 13.
MDH previously shared this message from the Office of Long Term Services and Supports regarding the Long Term Care E & E system on October 9.

Training: There will be a weekly training hosted by the MD Think team every Thursday from 1:00 - 3:00 PMClick here for a memo from MDH with more details on the changes and training.

Decommission of the Office of Long Term Care Dedicated Email Account: Beginning Tuesday, December 1, 2020, DHS will decommission the Office of Long Term Care ( dedicated email account that some facilities use to submit applications, redeterminations or documentation. Click here for the memo from MDH for more information.
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. The call was recorded, in case you were unable to join or would like to review the topics discussed, which included:

  • COVID-19 Epi Updates
  • Maryland Updates
  • Frequently Asked Questions on CMS Visitation Guidance
  • COVID in the Staff Breakroom
  • Responding to COVID-19 Facility Exposures
  • Q&A

You can also view the webinar's Powerpoint presentation here.

If you have any questions, please email
Election 2020
With the election less than a month away and a pandemic that uniquely targets the LTC population still rampant, providers have an opportunity to play a larger role in helping residents exercise their right to vote in 2020. As the prevalence of COVID-19 continues to require targeted restrictions and precautions for indoor visiting, previous strategies to facilitate voting for residents, such as making facilities polling places on Election Day, have likely shifted to reduce the risk to residents and staff. Nonetheless, our seniors and other residents have a right to make their voice heard, and providers should make every effort to assist them in doing so. Click here for more from AHCA/NCAL.

Upcoming Maryland Deadlines:
  • Miss the deadline to register? You can register to vote at your local early voting center during early voting or at a vote center on election day. Find the links to the lists of vote centers here. (Be sure to bring a document that proves where you live.)

  • Vote by mail requests must be received by Tuesday, October 20 (next Tuesday).

  • Ballots must be postmarked or hand delivered by Tuesday, November 3.
Other COVID-19 Updates

Residents’ Rights – Voting: On October 5, CMS issued a memo regarding compliance with residents’ rights requirement related to nursing home residents’ right to vote. Read More

Point of Care Laboratory Reporting Pathway in NHSN: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is releasing a new pathway through their National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) LTCF COVID-19 Module that will allow providers to report the results of their Point of Care (POC) COVID-19 testing. Read More

Upgrade to Level-3 Access to NHSN Today to Access the Point of Care Laboratory Reporting Pathway in NHSN: As previously reported, the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) has expanded their reporting modules to allow providers to report the results of their Point of Care (POC) COVID-19 testing. Read More

Updated: 3-Day Stay and Benefit Period COVID-19 Waiver Guidance Fact Sheet: On October 2, 2020, the Secretary of HHS renewed the declaration of the COVID-19 national public health emergency (PHE), and it will now extend through at least January 20, 2021 (unless the Secretary renews the PHE again). Read More
COVID-19 Webinars

  • October 22: 11 AM - 12 PM ET
  • October 23: 2 - 3 PM ET
  • Hosted by CDC
  • The CDC is hosting two identical training webinars to introduce their new their National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) LTCF COVID-19 Module.
  • Register for October 22 or October 23

  • Various Dates in October 2020
  • Various Times
  • Hosted by Abbott
  • This webinar is to reinforce key learnings related to BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card and the NAVICA™ App.
  • Register

  • Various Dates in October 2020
  • Various Times
  • Hosted by ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network
  • Five 30-minute sessions are designed to provide nursing home staff with updates on infection control best practices and more.
  • Be on the lookout for upcoming webinars and ways to register.
Medicare Open Enrollment

Now, through December 7 people with Medicare can review their health plan options for 2021.  Medicare Open Enrollment Information & resources are available here

Please feel free to share this information with your colleagues, friends, community and other distributions and affiliations. 
Reminder: Clinician Letter on Updated Clinical Guidance for Point of Care Testing

Earlier this week, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) released updated guidance for physicians across the State. Please click the links below to review the guidance in detail:

This year, it’s more important than ever to get the flu shot

People who are 65 and older are at high risk of having serious health complications from the flu. Now more than ever, everyone needs to do their part to prevent the spread of illnesses like the flu.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer people are getting vaccines which puts their communities at greater risk for other preventable diseases. When people with Medicare get the flu shot, it helps protect them and keep them from spreading the flu to others.  Getting a flu vaccine is a simple, easy, and powerful way to protect your health and the health of those around you.

Medicare covers the cost of the flu shot, which is available at most health care provider offices, local pharmacies, senior centers, health centers, and other places in the community.

This year, CMS is developing many new flu vaccination resources for people with Medicare, partners, providers, and others who can share our message. 

Consumer Resources on

Partner & Provider Resources on

  • CMS developed a new page – – for one-stop shopping to help you find CMS’s flu vaccination information and resources.
  • Visit the Outreach & Media Materials page for flu vaccination materials you can share within your partner networks and use to reach people with Medicare, plus other audiences across our health care programs. We will continue to update this page with additional resources.
  • Use this social media toolkit with posts and graphics to spread the word about the importance of getting a flu shot this year (in English & Spanish).
  • For partners, CMS launched a Flu Vaccine Partner Toolkit with flu and other immunization resources. Multi-language fact sheets and much more here!
  • For health care providers, CMS launched a new website – – with flu coverage and billing information.
Did you miss HFAM's previous alerts?

Visit our website to view all previous HFAM alerts, as well as guidance
from our federal and state partners.
Thank you.

We cannot thank you enough for the dedication and diligence in doing all that you can for the residents in your communities. HFAM continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic with our state and national partners and will do all we can to support you during this time.