Coronavirus Update #33
General Update and Thanks, Concentra Webinar,
Nurse Aid Training, Screening Checklist
General Update and Thank You

I want to remind you of the special thank you message that we recorded for you and your teams.

We appreciate all you and your teams are doing during this pandemic - thank you. We are now in the expansion period of COVID-19. Together, we’ve been preparing for this the best we can. Cases will increase in our sector. Most importantly, I don’t want you and your teams to be ashamed or feel like you failed as cases emerge. Frankly, with the lack of testing nationally early on, it was inevitable. Now is the time to continue to do what you and your teams do the best – provide quality care to Marylanders in need.


  • Employees cannot come to work if they are symptomatic or have suspected exposure in another setting or center.

  • Over communicate with staff, residents and families.

  • HFAM strongly urges SNFs to begin creating separate wings, units, or floors by moving current residents to handle future full surge admissions from hospitals, and keep current residents separate, if possible.

  • As we continue to advise, Maryland post-acute providers can accept hard to place non-COVID-19 hospital transfers now in order to help free-up acute care in hospitals for COVID-19 patients.

  • Hard to place patients include those who have high drug costs that are paid for in hospitals, but not in SNFs. We will continue to work with AHCA/NCAL, with our Congressional Delegation, and with the Hogan team for CMS regulatory and financial relief on this front.

  • Based on best case emerging public policy, our sector’s sweet spot to reduce risk and limit spread to our patients, residents, and staff, to assist in managing the care surge, and to help navigate the toughest days ahead, may be to create COVID-19 SNFs.

Thank you!

Be Well & Stronger Together,

Joe DeMattos
President and CEO, HFAM
Concentra  Webinar - Thursday, April 2

Concentra is hosting a webinar on Thursday, April 2 at 2:00 PM EST/1:00 PM CST to share how to implement telemedicine for your workplace. The agenda includes:

  • How Concentra is responding to COVID-19
  • How telemedicine can help minimize risk during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • What occupational conditions can be treated using telemedicine
  • How to successfully launch telemedicine at your workplace
  • Physician Q&A

This presentation will be presented by Concentra’s chief medical officer, Dr. John Anderson, Dr. Lisa Figueroa, vice president of telemedicine medical operations, and Megan Hart, client engagement manager. 
Temporary Nurse Aide Training & Competency Checklist 

As AHCA/NCAL shared in Update #26 recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a blanket waiver that includes an allowance for nursing centers to temporarily employ individuals who have completed alternative training paths, as long as they are competent to provide relevant nursing and nursing related services. 

Along with AHCA/NCAL, we have have been advocating for CMS to issue such a waiver to assist in addressing staffing shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is now allowed on the federal level. State approvals, such as state occupational licensing and state regulatory requirements, may also need to be granted. 

AHCA/NCAL has a training program ready to use as state occupational and licensing agencies approve these waivers. This 8-hour online Temporary Nurse Aide training course is free to all participants.
AHCA/NCAL has also developed a skills competency checklist  for facilities to use on-site when they hire individuals to work as Temporary Nurse Aides. It is important to know the federal requirement at §483.35(c) is still in effect , which requires facilities to ensure that nurse aides are able to demonstrate competency in skills and techniques necessary to care for residents’ needs, as identified through resident assessments, and described in the plan of care. 
Revised Screening Checklist for Visitors and Staff  

AHCA/NCAL has updated the screening checklist for visitors and staff based on the latest guidance from CMS and CDC. Revisions include changes to Section 3B to reflect when a staff person has worked in facilities or locations with recognized COVID-19 cases, and the staff person has worked with a person with confirmed COVID-19. They should be required to wear PPE including masks, gloves, gown before any contact with residents.

Section 4 was also expanded to include CDC guidance for health care provider use of PPE when there are cases of COVID-19 present or not in the facility, as well is in the community. Please replace the prior version of this checklist with this revised version. 
ICF/IIDs and PRTFs COVID-19 Guidance Released 

Yesterday, CMS released guidance for infection control and prevention of COVID-19 in Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IIDs) and Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs). CMS notes that these facility staff should regularly monitor the CDC website for information and resources. These providers should also contact their state health agency if they have questions or suspect a client/resident of an ICF/IID or PRTF has COVID-19.
AHCA/NCAL COVID-19 Video Series – Emotional Support for Staff 

In this newest video from AHCA/NCAL's COVID-19 video series, President & CEO Mark Parkinson and CMO Dr. David Gifford talk about ways to help staff cope through the pandemic. And special guest Nick Nurse , head coach of the Toronto Raptors (2019 NBA Champions for non-sports fans), offers a message of support to long term care frontline workers. 
MEMA - Request for Resources

Centers are now able to make resource requests directly to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).  Please see the instructions here.

All requests for resources will now be sent to

The MEMA Resource Section will input the information contained in these emails into a WebEOC request (on the requestor's behalf), and task that request to the appropriate fulfilling body. MEMA will have a staffer solely dedicated to monitoring the email account and gathering any necessary data from the requester.  
COVID-19 Case Study (Not Maryland)

Please see this  Case Study that HFAM wrote after being contacted by a SNF provider in another part of the country.

Please review this case study and share with your teams -- it includes critical insight and real time experience.
Child Care for Essential Personnel

Maryland Family Network (MFN) is partnering with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to make it fast and easy for essential personnel to find safe quality child care during the State of Emergency.

Maryland’s child care providers are essential to stemming the spread of and finding a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic. Our region is teeming with the Nation’s top researchers, doctors, and policy makers. As the Coronavirus continues to spread and demands on these and other essential personnel grows, they need to know their children are safe in order to stay focused on keeping the rest of us safe and healthy.

Visit this  site  to learn more or call 877-261-0060 to locate child care.

While all child care is closed for the general public, child care is  not closed for essential personnel. In addition to new programs being developed by the State, MSDE recently launched a program to allow child care providers that would otherwise be closed to open to serve children of essential personnel exclusively. There will be additional child care providers approved under this new provision and available to provide child care.   LOCATE will have the listing of approved sites for these services for your stakeholder's staff to identify child care services. 

Please urge your staff to visit: for more information on these child care options.

AHCA/NCAL has developed a web portal where people wanting to reach out to seniors and providers can record messages of support and even offer donations. This website encourages and facilitates social media messages of support for our nursing home and assisted living residents. Visit CareNotCOVID to learn more.

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.