June 4, 2020
Quick Links:
Friday June 5 at 7 AM:
DHS COVID-19 Webinar for Health Care Providers

Click HERE to join the webinar

Or dial:
312 626 6799 or 646 558 8658

Webinar ID:
233 994680

Tuesday June 9 at 10 AM:
Bureau of Assisted Living Meeting

To Join:
Meeting ID: 723 961 504

Or by Phone: +1 312 626 6799
COVID-19 Updates: June 4, 2020
This update includes:
  • CMS posts COVID NHSN and Infection Control Survey Data on Nursing Home Compare
  • NAMD and Medicaid Flexibility Updates
  • Community Care Begins Offering Family Care Services in Dane County
  • WHCA/WiCAL Survey and Regulatory Committee to Meet Next Week, Discuss New Survey/Regulatory Developments
  • ICYMI: Heroic Long Term Care Workers Continue To Save Lives
  • Supporting Your Loved One in a Long-Term Care Facility
As of today, there are 19,892 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Wisconsin and 626 deaths caused by the virus. Click HERE to view the latest outbreak information from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Click HERE to view COVID-19 projections for Wisconsin and the United States.
CMS posts COVID NHSN and Infection Control Survey Data on Nursing Home Compare
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it has begun posting the first set of COVID-19 nursing home data on Nursing Home Compare . The information posted will include each facility’s name, their reported number of confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 (including residents and staff), resident deaths related to COVID-19, availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 testing, and potential staffing shortages. For more details on the specific data elements collected, please view the CDC’s Long Term Care Facility COVID-19 Module website.

The NHSN COVID-19 information will be posted today, June 4th, 2020, on the Nursing Home Compare home page, in the “Spotlight” section, and will be updated on a weekly basis . Also posted in this section will be infection control survey results. See the CMS memo to stakeholders on the data publication here.
NAMD and Medicaid Flexibility Updates
On May 26, the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) submitted an letter to CMS asking for additional flexibility and extensions on various programmatic update and/or reporting requirements (see below). This morning, NAMD unveiled a new State Medicaid Director’s COVID-19 Resource Webpage and related blog . Discussion areas among the directors include:
  • What is the impact that delays in care have had on the health of members?
  • As the health care system adapts to new delivery models, how will provider capacity change?
  • What is the impact of increased telehealth on access and efficiencies in care delivery?
Highlights from the NAMD letter to CMS include:
  • HCBS Settings Rule: Delay in site assessments until January 2022;
  • Section 1115: Extension of all existing 1115 waivers to free up state and CMS time for specialized PHE related waiver development;
  • FMAP Penalty: Forgiveness for delayed implementation of EVS for personal care workers; and
  • MFAR: Two year implementation delay.
If you have questions, suggestion or concerns, please contact Mike Cheek at mcheek@ahca.org .
Community Care Begins Offering Family Care Services in Dane County
Community Care started offering Family Care services in Dane County on Monday.

The Brookfield-based managed care organization now delivers Family Care services to more than 10,000 Wisconsinites in 15 counties.

“By expanding into Dane County, we can further our mission to help older adults and adults with disabilities stay in their homes and remain as independent as possible,” CEO Kenneth Munson said in a statement.

Community Care entered the county after Care Wisconsin and My Choice Family Care merged.

The Department of Health Services said late last year they engaged in the process of bringing in Community Care to ensure more than one choice for residents.
WHCA/WiCAL Survey and Regulatory Committee to Meet Next Week, Discuss New Survey/Regulatory Developments
The WHCA/WiCAL Survey and Regulatory Committee will meet next Thursday to discuss recent regulatory developments, including new survey/enforcement directives from CMS.

The tentative agenda is below. If you have any additional suggestions for the agenda, please email jstoa@whcawical.org .

Tentative Agenda:
  • CMS Memo QSO 20-31-All – New CMS Survey/Enforcement Practices
  • State survey timelines/requirements
  • Enforcement/penalty structure
  • NHSN
  • Visitation restrictions
  • Update on subcommittee work
  • Public disclosure of positive cases
  • State
  • CDC
  • State testing
  • State LTC-Related Emergency Rules Update
  • Nurse Aide Training
  • NH Transfer Requirements
  • CBRF Staffing
  • AFH Staffing
  • Family Care/Adult LTC
  • Immunity update           
  • State legislation expiration – July 11
  • Progress on national immunity provision
  • Superior Health Alliance Initiative
ICYMI: Heroic Long Term Care Workers Continue To Save Lives
AHCA/NCAL shared the below message earlier today:

In case you missed it, long term care workers are being praised for their heroic work on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an op-ed in The Virginian-Pilot , Keith Hare, president and CEO of the Virginia Health Care Association-Virginia Center for Assisted Living, Melissa Andrews, president and CEO of LeadingAge Virginia and Judy Hackler, executive director of the Virginia Assisted Living Association say long term care workers are unsung heroes who are doing all that they can to protect the most vulnerable. They say:
Heroes work here. The signs have been popping up all over communities across Virginia. Where is “here?” It’s Virginia’s long-term care facilities – our nursing homes and assisted living facilities – that are staffed by unsung heroes who care for tens of thousands of Virginia’s seniors. These heroes are dedicated professionals who have been working to keep our residents – our parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors – safe from this unprecedented virus …
Ensuring quality care has been and will continue to be the highest priority for our residents. Virginia’s long-term care facilities were ahead of the curve in working to beat this virus and keep it out of their centers. Before national guidance was provided on visitation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nursing homes and assisted living communities began limiting visitors to protect our most vulnerable. We also publicly noted from the start how vital it was that long-term care centers be top priority for the public health response.
It goes without saying that the individuals who work in long-term care are amazing examples of heroes who are doing all they can to help the most vulnerable during this pandemic.
In another piece in the Hartford Courant , Larry Santilli, president and CEO of Athena Health Care Systems and Eleanor Messenger, resident of MeadowBrook of Granby and president of the Resident Council, commend long term care staff for their live-saving work. They write:
Nursing home workers are saving lives. They are saving the lives of their patients by offering care and lifting up their spirits in a time of such fear. And they are saving the lives of the rest of us by serving on the front lines and limiting the reach of this insidious virus …
With a growing number of individuals needing the level of care nursing homes provide, the work they do is more critical now than ever.
Throughout this crisis, the country has been honoring the work of our hospital workers and first responders, our grocery store workers and pharmacists. And rightly so.
But don’t forget to thank our nursing home workers. The work they were doing before this pandemic was difficult on a good day. It’s heroic today.
Leon Kraybill, M.C., the chief of Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health’s geriatric division and post-acute care, published an op-ed in LancasterOnline in which he describes the high level of care workers give residents every day. He writes:
Nursing home care cannot happen at a 6-foot distance. Nursing home residents require extra care because of declining health and function. They have multiple diseases that limit walking, breathing and eating. They need assistance in the intimate details of daily living such as bathing, toileting and dressing.
Nursing home staff graciously provide this physical and emotional care. These nurses, aides and therapists learn to know their residents like family and develop deep emotional bonds.
Nursing home staff do not boast about what they do, but rather quietly deliver compassionate care day after day. They are your neighbors, fellow religious worshippers, shoppers at the store and parents of your children’s friends …
Nursing home lives are not just expendable numbers to be added or subtracted from daily tallies. They are individuals with life stories. They are our parents, our friends and eventually us.
We are fortunate to have wonderful staff members caring for our nursing home residents. Honor these heroes for the care they provide, often unseen and unrecognized, while carrying our community through this crisis.
Long term caregivers are working day and night to care for our country’s most vulnerable citizens. Now more than ever, they need our encouragement and support.
Supporting Your Loved One in a Long-Term Care Facility
CDC released a fact sheet on Supporting Loved Ones in a Long-Term Care Facility providers can share with residents’ families. The fact sheet includes ideas on how to keep in touch and ways providers are supporting communication between residents and their families.

During this challenging time, we need to keep in mind the impacts of social isolation and how to help residents stay connected with their families and loved ones. AHCA/NCAL has also previously prepared a resource to help providers continue to keep residents connected to their loved ones. These resources are a starting point and intended to kick off additional ideas for each center or community based on the status of COVID-19 in their building and surround community as well as the availability of necessary resources to support these efforts.
John Vander Meer, MPA | President & CEO | john@whcawical.org

Jim Stoa, J.D. | Director of Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations | jstoa@whcawical.org

Pat Boyer, MSM, RN, NHA | Director of Quality Advancement and Education | pat@whcawical.org

Kate Dickson, MPA | Director of Reimbursement Policy | kate@whcawical.org

Kate Battiato, MPA | Director of Workforce Development | kbattiato@whcawical.org

Allison Cramer | Communications and Government Relations Specialist | allison@whcawical.org

Jena Jackson | Director of Development | jena@whcawical.org

Jammie Moore | Director of Administrative Services | jammie@whcawical.org

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