Coronavirus Update #169
MDH Updates, AHCA Webinar, Reminder on CMS Guidance,
Flu Shot Info, Voting Guide, AHCA/NCAL Convention
Maryland Department of Health Updates and Reminders

Point of Care Testing Feedback

The Point of Care Testing Taskforce has fielded a survey on nursing homes' experience with POC testing. Responses will be accepted through close of business on October 2, 2020. Click here for the survey.

MD Think Update

A new MD Think update is scheduled for release on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. There will be a weekly training hosted by the MD Think team every Thursday from 1:00 - 3:00 PM. Click here for a memo from MDH with more details on the changes and training.

Patient Driven Payment Model/New Minimum Data Set (MDS) Reminder

As we shared in July, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) released a memorandum to nursing facilities administrators regarding CMS Minimum Data Set (MDS) version 1.17.2, which will be effective tomorrow, October 1, 2020. Please click here to view the full memo. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Tarenyika at

Redetermination Extension Reminder

Redetermination and renewal deadlines set for March 31, April 30, May 31, June 30, July 31, August 31, September 30, October 31, and November 30, 2020 have been extended to December 31, 2020. Cases that are due to close on those dates have been extended to December 31st. Pleases keep in mind that you are still encouraged to complete renewals as close to the scheduled redetermination date as possible. This extension does not extend past December 31, 2020. Click here to read the full memo.

Power Wheelchair Transmittal Reminder

Beginning November 1, 2020, Telligen, the Maryland Medicaid Program's Utilization Control Agent, will assume the responsibility for processing preauthorization requests for power wheelchairs (PWCs) for nursing facility residents. After this date, the Program will no longer accept requests from nursing facilities. Instead, requests must be submitted by a durable medical equipment (DME) provider that is an authorized Maryland Medicaid provider. Please click here for the full transmittal details and guidance.
FRIDAY, OCT. 2: AHCA/NCAL Office Hours on Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements

On Friday, October 2 at 3:00 pm Eastern, AHCA/NCAL will host an “office hour” to provide up-to-date answers to your questions about provider relief fund reporting requirements based upon available information and interpretation. Read More

Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements Office Hours 
Friday, Oct 2, 2020 3:00 pm | 1 hour | Eastern Time 
Join by video HERE

Visitation Guidance and Communal Dining Resource

On September 17, CMS released a memo on visitation that also addresses communal activities and dining. Facilities should take all reasonably available steps to implement visitation. Read More

Again, please note that on last week's webinar, MDH discussed the CMS changes and shared that they would be providing additional guidance on visitation; we will share this state guidance as soon as it becomes available.
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.
ICYMI: Voting Guide

The 2020 General Election is Tuesday, November 3. Make sure that residents, patients, and staff are prepared to vote. Start planning today! Check out this voting guide that we shared earlier today for deadlines and information on voting.
Register for the AHCA/NCAL Virtual Convention

The past few months have been full of unprecedented challenges to the long term and post-acute care sector. That's why it's more important than ever that we gather for the 71st AHCA/NCAL Virtual Convention & Expo to review the past year, recognize the heroic work that you and your staff have done, and design solutions for what lies ahead. Join your colleagues as we come together to reflect, share, and learn.

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.