April 7, 2020
Stay Connected - LeadingAge Illinois COVID-19 Resources
Stay up to date on state and federal COVID-19 information and updates by accessing the LeadingAge Illinois COVID-19 Resources page. You can also engage with other Illinois members through our listservs, connecting you with your peers by provider type. We have now added a COVID-19 listserv . Contact LeadingAge Illinois if you’d like more information about the listservs or would like to join one.

Personal Protective Equipment Update
We have a couple of updates today on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). See below for updates on PPE use and a potential PPE supplier. 
PPE Use:
CMS recommends that full COVID-19 appropriate PPE should be worn for the care of all residents, regardless of COVID-19 status or presence of symptoms, when COVID-19 transmission is occurring within the nursing home. Additionally, all nursing home personnel should be wearing a facemask while in the nursing home.
In implementing this recommendation:
Recall from previously-released CDC guidance that if there are COVID-19 cases in the nursing home or sustained transmission in the community outside the nursing home, residents should remain in their rooms, coming out only for reasons of medical necessity. When leaving the room, residents should be wearing facemasks. CMS’s new guidance further clarifies that any residents who must regularly leave the facility, such as residents receiving dialysis treatment, should wear facemasks when outside their rooms.
Additionally, CMS recommends that all residents, regardless of COVID-status or the presence of symptoms, should cover their noses and mouths when staff enter their rooms. Residents who have been confirmed or are suspected to be COVID-19-positive should wear surgical masks. Residents who are not COVID-19-positive or assumed to be COVID-19-positive can cover using tissues. Cloth masks would also be appropriate for these residents.
We have heard from members across the country about the growing prevalence of cloth masks , sewn by volunteers and community groups. As these cloth masks are generally not considered PPE and are generally less effective at reducing transmission risk than surgical masks, one PPE optimization strategy that could be employed would be allowing residents to use the cloth masks as appropriate, while conserving surgical masks for residents who are assumed or confirmed COVID-19-positive and for staff who are performing care or otherwise interacting with residents.
Source: LeadingAge
Potential PPE Supplier:
A multi-site, nonprofit Illinois member has provided LeadingAge Illinois with a PPE resource that they have used recently. The member who informed LeadingAge Illinois of this supplier waited until their first shipment of 20K masks was received and met expectations before providing us with the supplier’s information. The member was pleased that this supplier was able to provide all types of PPE – medical masks, N95s, gloves, gowns, face shields, goggles and thermometers.
Matt Carson
Owner, AM Consulting LLC
Please note: He is on Hong Kong Time and may not immediately answer phone calls, please email or send a whatsapp message.
Customer references - masks:
John Hargreaves
Maintenance Too Paper Co.
629 17th Ave. W.
Bradenton, FL 34205
Scott Mayer
Mobile Anesthesiologists
Chief Executive Officer
8420 W. Bryn Mawr Ave #300
Chicago, IL 60631
Office: 773-756-5768
Cell: 312-533-1298
Transfer of Patients from Hospital Settings to Skilled and Intermediate Long-term Care Facilities
This afternoon, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released guidance to skilled and intermediate long-term care facilities regarding the transfer of patients from a hospital setting to a skilled or intermediate long-term care facility (“skilled long-term care facility”) licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act, 210 ILCS 45. Click here for the guidance document. 
New Paid Sick Leave and FMLA Leave in the Families First Response Act (FFCRA)
Updated 4/1/20
This update includes the requirements set out in the Temporary Final Regulations issued by DOL on April 1, to be published in the Federal Register on April 6.
Delay of Medicaid Redeterminations
Due to the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, CMS has authorized states to delay redeterminations for medical coverage immediately. CMS has authorized this delay to continue until the Emergency Declaration has ended.  Please see the DHS website. 
Temporary Prior Authorization Requirement Changes Related to COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) released a Provider Notice recently directed to home health agencies on temporary changes to prior authorization. The Department’s goal in implementing these changes is to reduce participant visits to providers, promote social distancing, reduce barriers to participant access to supplies and equipment and ease the burden on DME providers and ordering providers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The information applies to prior authorization requests and claims for participants covered under fee-for-service, HealthChoice Illinois managed care plans and the Medicare/Medicaid Alignment Initiative (MMAI) plans.
Guidance for Home Care Service Providers Regarding Supervisory Visits by Agency Personnel
IDPH is suspending the required supervisory visits performed by the agency staff. Supervisory communications are still encouraged electronically during this pandemic. Click here for the official IDPH Notice. 
Childcare for Essential Workers
In Sunday’s press briefing, Governor Pritzker announced that essential workers now qualify for the state’s Child Care Assistance Program . The program aims to assist healthcare workers and other essential employees in covering the costs of child care while working through the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Governor Pritzker Daily Press Conferences
Governor JB Pritzker is conducting daily press 2:30 p.m. conferences on COVID-19. Click here to listen daily.
SIREN Notifications
To get the most up-to-date guidance from the State of Illinois, you can register to receive SIREN - State of Illinois Rapid Electronic Notifications .  SIREN provides regional, State and Federal partners with a comprehensive information sharing, collaboration, alerting and notification solution. If you have difficulties registering please contact SIREN .
Source: SIREN
CMS Waivers and Training and Certification of Nurse Aides
Under the blanket waivers issued by CMS recently, they are waiving the requirements that a nursing facility may not employ anyone for longer than four months unless they meet training and certification requirements. CMS is waiving these requirements to assist in potential staffing shortages seen with the COVID-19 pandemic.
CMS is not waiving the regulations requiring facilities to not use any individual working as a nurse aide for more than four months, on a full-time basis, unless that individual is competent to provide nursing and nursing related services. They further note that they are not waiving regulations 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.
Achieving adequate staffing levels may be a concern for nursing facilities during the public health emergency. CMS is temporarily waiving these requirements so they do not present barriers for facilities to hire staff; the temporary waiver will help facilities provide adequate levels of staffing for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paycheck Protection Program and Faith-Based Organizations
Last week, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) on affiliation of organizations as it relates to eligibility for the program and FAQs for faith-based organizations. Here’s an article on the guidance, with links to it. LeadingAge members will be interested in the affiliation guidance related to ownership and management. The FAQs for faith based organizations indicates that faith based organizations are eligible to receive PPP and EIDL loans.
LeadingAge Sends Letter to HHS Secretary Requesting Allocation from $100 Billion
This week, LeadingAge sent a letter to HHS, asking for $34.6 billion out of the $100 billion Congress gave HHS for hospital and healthcare provider relief. There is a lot of noise that the Department would like to use it to reimburse hospitals for health care associated with coronavirus for the uninsured. There is no official word yet. We will keep you updated on this issue. 
Revised USDA FAQs for Affordable Housing
Yesterday, the USDA updated its FAQs for multifamily affordable housing. The FAQ reminds owners to complete income recertifications as quickly and flexibly as possible, to not count the $1,200 checks toward resident income, and that they can access their operating accounts to pay for COVID-19 expenses, among other items. The FAQ is behind the multi-family housing button on this page
FREE Providers Members Only Webinar: When Every Dollar Counts: Loans, Grants and other Financial Assistance Available for Senior Living Providers Under the CARES Act
Learn the ways in which senior living providers can obtain emergency loans under the CARES Act. Join Andrew Tecson, Esq., Kimberly Boike, Esq., Evan Blewett, Esq., Margaret Walsh, Esq., attorneys at Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. as they navigate provisions for loans, grants and other financial assistance available for self-insured nonprofits and unemployment reimbursement. This is a free- members only webinar. Earn up to 1.0 CE.
Please register here for When Every Dollar Counts: Loans, Grants and Other Financial Assistance Available for Senior Living Providers under the CARES Act on Apr 10 at 10 a.m. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
COVID-19 Updates and Q&A for Long-Term Care and Congregate Residential Settings
IDPH is hosting a weekly webinar to provide updates and answer questions from long-term care and congregate residential settings. First call will be Friday, April 10, 1:00- 2:00 p.m. Register here .
NEW LeadingAge Resource to Help You Fill Jobs During this Crisis
LeadingAge is establishing partnerships with major national employers and associations to reach displaced workers from fields such as dining, retail, and hospitality, etc. They are directing out-of-work staff to their job board to find positions in your communities.
Please post jobs of all   kinds – for FREE - (including temporary positions and those that do not require certification) on the Leading Age Job Board
It’s easy to post a job! 
  • Under the Employers Tab at the top of the page, select Post a Job
  • Sign-in as I am a Member
  • Choose the (Members) Job Flash Package under the Type of Posting 
  • Fill out the Position Description
  • Input coupon code during checkout: STANDTOGETHER
  • Post job
This Week’s Live LeadingAge Coronavirus Update Schedule
The team at LeadingAge has been inspired by the dedication of everyone working at member organizations. In the midst of a sacred week for many of us, there will be a pause of the 2:30 p.m. live online updates on both Thursday, April 9, and Sunday, April 12, in recognition of Passover and Easter . Know that we will be working for you through the religious holidays this week, but will take these two days to allow members a chance to observe in their communities and with their loved ones.
You can still expect email updates each weekday morning, and live online updates today, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. As always, you can subscribe to "LeadingAge Need to Know" via communications preferences in your MyLeadingAge account to receive email updates. Register here for the daily 2:30 p.m. live online updates.
Telligen Webinar: COVID-19 in Geriatrics and Long Term Care
Register now for this interactive Office Hours session is scheduled for Aparil 9 at 2:30 p.m. It will feature special guest speakers, Dr. Joseph G. Ouslander, co-creator of INTERACT and Dr. William Russell.
Dr. Ouslander recently published a COVID-19 special article and editorial in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. He and Dr. Russell will review these publications and will share key updates, actionable guidance, and resources to assist long-term care providers in their COVID-19 prevention and preparedness efforts.
Dr. Ouslander’s distinguished career and lifelong achievements in clinical geriatrics include the creation and dissemination of Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers (INTERACT), a quality improvement program that assists long-term and post-acute care organizations in improving care and reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and their related complications and costs.
Dr. Russell is an internist and geriatrician focused on value-based care for seniors in the ambulatory setting. He serves as the medical lead for Conviva Care Centers in Palm Beach County Florida, responsible for the care of over 25,000 older patients. He was a technical lead at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT for the Transitions of Care Challenge Grants.
Dr. Christine LaRocca, a fellowship-trained, board-certified geriatrician and Medical Director for Telligen, will serve as the facilitator for this office hours call.
Source: Telligen