Coronavirus Update #186
HHS Updates Provider Relief Fund FAQs, Location is Key,
Stockpile of PPE Order, Leaders in Healthcare Award
HHS Updates Provider Relief Fund FAQs 

HHS recently made a significant number of updates to the Provider Relief Fund FAQs.    

Notable changes include:  

  • New flexibility to update Provider Infection Control and SNF allocation information;
  • Additional reporting guidance; and
  • New CHOW information. 

A document containing the new FAQs is available here.

Independent Research Confirms That A Long Term Care Facility’s Location Is A Key Factor In The Likelihood Of A COVID-19 Outbreak

COVID-19 has taken a disproportionate toll on long term care residents despite every effort by their caregivers. David C. Grabowski, professor of health-care policy at Harvard Medical School, R. Tamara Konetzka, professor of health services at the University of Chicago and Vincent Mor, professor of health services policy and practice at Brown University have conducted independent research that shows that the location of a nursing home, asymptomatic spread and availability of testing are determining factors in COVID-19 outbreaks – not quality ratings, infection citations or staffing.

In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Drs. Grabowski, Mor and Konetzka write:

“[A]ccording to our research, location and facility size matter much more than prior quality in predicting whether a nursing home will have a serious covid-19 outbreak. The most important factors influencing whether and how large an outbreak occurs in a nursing home are the population density of the county in which the facility is located, the prevalence of the virus reported in the county and the racial distribution of the nursing home, which are all correlated.

“Location matters because the coronavirus that causes covid-19 often spreads without causing symptoms. Visitors have not been allowed in most facilities since March, but staff members still go to work. If a covid-19 outbreak is underway in the community where staff members live, the pandemic will soon be in the nursing home where they work.

“Many nursing homes can improve their infection-control procedures. But the expectation that good nursing homes can stop transmission while poorly rated nursing homes cannot is unwarranted. Many top-rated nursing homes have been overwhelmed, while a lot of poorly rated ones are free of covid-19 largely because their staff members live in areas with low rates of infection.”

Reminder: Updated MDH Orders Requiring 60-Day Supply of PPE

Earlier this week, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) released a revised nursing home order, nursing home update.  This order requires all nursing homes to stock and maintain a 30 day private stockpile of PPE by November 30, 2020 and increase that amount to a 60 day private stockpile of PPE by January 31, 2021. All nursing homes must report their PPE inventory to MDH weekly. Click the links below for the full order and updates.

  • Revised Nursing Home Order: Again, this order's substantive change is a new 60 day PPE inventory requirement (+a reporting requirement to MDH their PPE inventory) by January 31, 2021. It also contains two technical changes:

  • Changing the time of notifying patients/staff from 12 hours to the federal requirement of 5 pm next day of a COVID outbreak so we track the feds.

  • Eliminating MDH review of nursing home testing plans since they all now have point of care machines and lab contracts. Order maintains requirement that each facility establish and maintain COVID-19 testing arrangements with laboratories for PCR assay-based testing.

  • Nursing Home Updates: Nursing homes must ensure they have adequate staffing during outbreaks in accordance with existing law and regulation, and that all staff, to the extent possible, get their flu shots by Dec. 31, 2020.
BBJ Leaders in Healthcare
Congrats to HFAM President & CEO, Joseph DeMattos

Earlier this week the Baltimore Business Journal (BBJ) announced their first annual Leaders in Healthcare Award Winners. We are honored that HFAM President and CEO Joe DeMattos was chosen as a winner in the category of senior care!

Congratulations to Joe and all the winners -- we appreciate your dedication to quality care and helping people across the care continuum!
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.