COVID Update #238

Diamond Labs Testing and Reminders
Diamond Labs Testing and Reporting

March 1 is an important date for skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers and assisted living campuses. Some may take this time to save on operational funds and take the chance on accuracy (average 25%) with POC testing.  

Diamond Labs is happy to announce that, with the release of the new codes from CMS, they are able to compliantly test and bill staff members’ insurance for the testing. If centers are using the screening code z11.52 as intended, Diamond Labs is able to test staff and bill their insurance.

In addition, Diamond Labs will also inherit the burden of reporting all results, rather than committing staff time to report and send results.

Diamond Labs’ method yields a 99.97% accuracy rate via the PCR method, averages a 24-hour turnaround time, and sends reports via three separate methods. 

With vaccine administration, there has also been an increase in antibody testing to see if vaccines are working to build antibodies. Diamond Labs is working the State to identify patients that still test positive after getting both doses of the vaccine -- some theories are exploring the idea that those patients are not building antibodies and/or they came in to contact with new strains of the virus. 

If any HFAM members are looking for prompt, accurate results with a timely turnaround, please contact Casey Young via email or phone at 443-742-4051.
MDH Webinar Recap

Last week, 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:

  • Maryland Epi Updates
  • FDA Updates
  • FAQs

You can also view the webinar's PowerPoint presentation here and the chat box here.

If you have any questions, please email
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.
Reminder: Webinar on COVID-19 Revenue Supplemental Schedule

The Maryland Department of Health and its contractor, Myers and Stauffer LC, are holding a webinar to review the COVID-19 Revenue Supplemental Schedule. This schedule and the accompanying memorandum from MDH are available on the Maryland section of the Myers and Stauffer website at
The webinar will be on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. To register for the webinar, CLICK HERE.
Once at the website, select the Register link in the Event Status line. Once on the registration page, complete the first name, last name, email address, and confirm email address fields. All four fields are required. Then select the Submit button. After selecting the Submit button, you will receive a calendar invitation with a link to join the webinar.
The webinar will review the schedule and instructions and the timeline for submitting the schedules. There will be a question and answer period at the end of the webinar. If you have any questions that you would like to submit prior to the webinar, please send them to The webinar will be recorded and posted to for any providers that are not able to attend the live session.
Reminder: Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment (AAP) Repayment – Two Months and Counting

AAP repayments for all Medicare providers who received AAP payments begin one year from date of the AAP receipt. Repayment start dates are specific to SNF providers associated with their date of AAP receipt. For many SNFs, repayment dates begin in April 2021. Providers do not need to take any action to repay. 

Rather, Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) automatically will begin to recover payment amounts reducing paid claims until the AAP is repaid. AHCA was successful with ensuring SNFs were including in the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act. This law extended and modified the repayment schedule. Additionally, the law fixed the interest rate at 4%. Normally, AAP payment extensions are subject to the Treasury Department’s given interest rate. Access to these provisions offer more time to repay and more predictability through a fix interest rate. 

Based on the statutorily defined schedule, SNFs should assess their cash flow for quarter two of 2021. For an AHCA overview of the repayment schedule, additional AAP information (including options to request payment extensions), and MAC webpages, click here. To review the CMS FAQs, click here.
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.