Coronavirus Update #126
MDH Virtual Town Hall Tomorrow , Update on Admissions FAQs, Grant Opportunity,
Reminders on MDH Orders and Guidance, CMS Calls this Week
MDH Guidance on Re-Opening - Virtual Town Hall Tomorrow

During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, various restrictions have been put into place by Maryland nursing homes to limit the introduction and spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in these settings.   
This document outlines the requirements that must be met by Maryland nursing homes to begin relaxing restrictions (sometimes referred to as “reopening”) that have been put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. This document also outlines three progressive phases of relaxation with details about specific restrictions that can be relaxed during each phase and requirements that must be met before moving to the next phase. In addition, this guidance addresses outdoor visitation in nursing homes.

The Maryland Department of Health is holding a webinar tomorrow (June 23) at 11:00 AM
to further discuss this guidance. Details are as follows:

Meeting number (access code): 161 009 2469
Meeting password: m5xUFjxvJ78

+1-415-655-0001 US Toll
UPDATE : FAQ on Managing Admissions and Readmissions for Maryland Nursing Homes

Last week, the Maryland Department of Health released this FAQ on Managing Admissions and Readmissions for Maryland Nursing Homes.

UPDATE: In the Frequently Asked Questions on the Management of Admissions and Readmissions, "overnight" is defined as 24 hours or longer. 

This and additional resources can be found at
Grant Opportunity: COVID-19 Telehealth Program

The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) is notifying long-term care organizations about the COVID-19 Telehealth Program , a funding opportunity from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) available here .  Nonprofit and public eligible health care providers are eligible to receive funding under this program, which provides up to $1 million to cover costs for internet-connected monitoring devices, broadband connectivity, and telecommunication devices (e.g., tablets, smart phones, blood pressure monitors, pulse oximetry monitors, etc.). The FCC has established a $200 million fund; funds are available on a first come basis. To date, over $120 million in awards have been disbursed from the fund.  

This is a unique opportunity.  The MHCC encourages your organization to consider submitting an application for remote patient monitoring (RPM) for COVID-19 positive and high risk patients. Unlike most other federal grants, the application for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program is much more streamlined and straightforward to ease the submission and award process. 

If you decide to submit an application for RPM, the MHCC can provide a State of Maryland letter of support addressed to Ajit Pai, Chairman of the FCC, to include in your submission. If you have technical questions regarding adoption and meaningful use of RPM, please feel free to contact MHCC.  
Nikki Majewski can be contacted via email or by telephone at 443.413.8478 if you have any questions. 
Reminder: Amended Directive and Order on Nursing Home and Healthcare Matters

These documents will also be available on the Maryland Coronavirus website at
Reminder on Updated Guidance on Outdoor Visits in Assisted Living

The Maryland Department of Health released updated guidance regarding outdoor visitation in assisted living facilities. The guidance for outdoor visitations at assisted living facilities has been amended to include that it is strongly recommended that there are no more than 2 visitors at a time per resident per visit. 

Reminder: MDH Webinar Call 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:

  • Review of current situation of COVID-19
  • Guidance updates
  • Clarification of observation guidance
  • Q&A

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

If you have any questions, please email
CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 6/22/2020

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

Call details are below. Conference lines are limited so you are highly encouraged to join via audio webcast, either on your computer or smartphone web browser. You are welcome to share this invitation with your colleagues and professional networks. These calls are not intended for the press.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls (Tuesdays at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern)

Office Hour Calls provide an opportunity for hospitals, health systems, and providers to ask questions of agency officials regarding CMS’s temporary actions that empower local hospitals and healthcare systems to: Increase Hospital Capacity – CMS Hospitals Without Walls; Rapidly Expand the Healthcare Workforce; Put Patients Over Paperwork; and Further Promote Telehealth in Medicare.

This week’s Office Hours:
Tuesday, June 23rd at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial In: 833-614-0820; 
Access Passcode: 5775248

Weekly COVID-19 Care Site-Specific Calls

CMS hosts weekly calls for certain types of organizations to provide targeted updates on the agency’s latest COVID-19 guidance. One to two leaders in the field also share best practices with their peers. There is an opportunity to ask questions of presenters if time allows.

Home Health and Hospice (2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 3:00 PM Eastern)
Tuesday, June 23rd at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; 
Access Passcode: 3676539
Nursing Homes (2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 4:30 PM Eastern)
Wednesday, June 24th at 4:30 – 5:00 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; 
Access Passcode: 3089577
Dialysis Organizations (2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 5:30 PM Eastern)
Wednesday, June 24th at 5:30 – 6:00 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; 
Access Passcode: 6494855
Nurses (2nd and 4th Thursdays at 3:00 PM Eastern)
Thursday, June 25th at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern
Toll Free Attendee Dial-In: 833-614-0820; 
Access Passcode: 9496814
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.