Coronavirus Update #32
Diamond Medical Lab Testing, MDH Updates, and CMS Blanket Waivers
Diamond Medical Labs Nursing Home Testing

Diamond Medical Labs, located in Owings Mills, has the capacity to do in-residence test collection for seniors during the COVID-19 outbreak so that they do not have to go out. Contact Andy Diamond at or 443-992-2782 if there is demand at your center or if you would like additional information.
Maryland Department of Health Updates

PASSR & MDS Waiver Memo Rescinded

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) memorandum issued yesterday temporarily waiving Requirements for Pre-Admission Screening and Annual Resident Review (PASRR) and Minimum Data Set (MDS) Validations has been rescinded . A new communication from MDH will be issued at a later time.

If you have any questions, please contact Jarrod Terry or Jane Sacco.

Redeterminations Update

The Maryland Department of Health has received approval to extend the deadline for renewal of all Medicaid cases in Maryland, including Long Term Care (LTC) Medicaid cases.

  • Redetermination deadlines set for March 31, 2020 are extended two months to May 31, 2020. This means cases that are due to close March 31st will be extended to May 31st. 

  • Additionally, redetermination deadlines set for April 30, 2020 are extended one month to May 31, 2020. This means cases that are due to close April 30th will be extended to May 31st. 

Please note that this extension does NOT provide additional time for applications awaiting documentation or reaching the end of the six-month consideration period, Medicaid participants who have reported a change in circumstances, and/or those who are no longer eligible.

Facilities and representatives of participants are encouraged to complete their renewals as soon as possible. This extension gives more time but does not extend past May 31, 2020.  Centers are also encouraged to continue using the MD Think system to ensure timely filing.
CMS Issues Blanket Regulatory Waivers 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued  several blanket waivers for long term care providers   in pages 9-12. The following blanket waivers regarding the below are in effect, with a retroactive effective date of March 1, 2020 through the end of the emergency declaration. Click here for a full summary from AHCA/NCAL.

  • Training and Certification of Nurse Aides
  • Resident Groups
  • Resident roommates and grouping
  • Physical Environment
  • Resident Transfer and Discharge
  • Section 1812(f) -- 3-Day and Spell of Illness Waivers
  • Formerly State-by-State Section 1135 PASRR Waiver
  • Medicare Provider Enrollment
  • Cost Reporting
  • Medicare Appeals in Fee for Service (FFS), Medicare Advantage (MA)
  • Expanding availability of end stage renal disease (ESRD) to Nursing Home Residents
  • CMS Facility without Walls (Temporary Expansion Sites) Transfers of COVID-19 Patients
  • Minimum Data Set
  • Staffing Data Submission
  • Physician Visits
New AHCA/NCAL Guidance on Hospital Transfers 

AHCA/NCAL has issued revised guidance for long term care facilities  on accepting admissions from and transferring patients to hospitals during COVID-19 (previously released on March 20). The revisions are based on new evidence from the CDC published in its March 27th Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), which found that 57% of elderly who tested positive for COVID-19 did not have symptoms but shed virus at levels that likely made them infectious to others. 
As more data becomes available, this guidance may continue to change.

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.
Please email for additional questions, and visit for additional information and resources.
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.