May 21, 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.

TOP STORIES
Members Discuss Nursing Home COVID-19 Issues with Congresswoman Schakowsky
Today, LeadingAge Illinois and LeadingAge hosted a conference call with U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-9th District; Glenview). A number of members from the 9 th District participated to inform her of the current challenges nursing home providers are facing due to the COVID-19 emergency. 
 
A number of important issues were discussed, including, but not limited to:
  • Quality Care for Nursing Home Residents and Workers During COVID-19 Act (H.R. 6698).  The representative is the sponsor of this legislation. Some of the bill’s provisions are a part of the Heroes Act. 

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Members discussed issues with locating PPE and the current high costs. The representative said she has had a recent call with the Governor about this issue and several other nursing home issues. 

  • Testing. Members discussed their experience with testing and issues related to the current process. 

  • Commission. Members requested the representative’s support of a Bipartisan Commission to study improvements in long-term care after the pandemic and make recommendations to help the industry as providers move forward.  

  • Staffing. Members requested the representative’s support of the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, which would reallocate 40,000 additional visas for doctors and nurses to practice in United States. LeadingAge has written a letter of support for this legislation.
 
Special thanks to the following members for their time and assistance in educating the representative on current issues facing member organizations:
 
  • Phil Hemmer, Executive Director, Three Crowns Park, Evanston
  • Lisa Dye, Development Director & Volunteer Services, Three Crowns Park, Evanston
  • Nadim Abi-Antoun, CEO, Presbyterian Homes, Skokie
  • Mark Dubovick, Health Services Administrator, Admiral at the Lake, Chicago
  • Sheila Bogen, Executive Director, SelfHelp Home, Chicago
  • Bill Lowe, President and CEO, Chicago Methodist Senior Services
  • Nadia Geigler, CEO, Admiral at the Lake, Chicago
  • Scott Hochstadt, Administrator, CJE SeniorLife Lieberman, Skokie
  • Andrew Clauson, Executive Director, Presbyterian Homes, Westminster Place
  • Lisa Vandermark, Executive Director, Presbyterian Homes, The Moorings of Arlington Heights
 
LeadingAge Illinois, at the representative’s request, has already scheduled a follow-up meeting with her staff to get further into details on these issues. 
 
The meeting with Rep. Schakowsky was the first in a series of meetings LeadingAge Illinois will have with Illinois members of Congress. Next week, we will meet with the offices of U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-8 th District; Chicago) and U.S. Representative Michael Quigley (D-5 th District; Chicago). The focus of the next two congressional meetings will be affordable housing. 
COVID-19 Testing Update
As you are well aware, testing is a state and nationwide issue, especially on long term care. We have a few updates related to testing we wanted you to be aware of. 
 
CDC Guidance
The CDC has updated guidance to nursing homes since CMS’s new recommendations on reopening were released on May 18. There is also Performing Facility-Wide SARS-COV Testing in Nursing Homes and updated Preparing for COVID-19 in Nursing Homes , which LeadingAge will report on in coming days. It is important to remember that this is guidance from CDC, not CMS , and providers need to follow any state-level requirements.
 
IDPH:
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has reached out to LeadingAge Illinois asking if our members have testing supplies and need assistance with specimen collection. If so, Debra Bryars , Deputy Director of the Office of Health Care Regulation at IDPH is asking that members contact her with that information. 
 
Billing:
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) issued a provider notice this week indicating that COVID-19 testing is free to Illinois residents. The notice reminds health care providers to provide COVID-19 diagnostic testing and testing-related services free of charge to all Illinois residents, regardless of insurance status or immigration status, and informs providers that HFS is initiating a new eligibility category to reimburse providers for these services. 

The State is contracting with Quest Labs for testing.  In the Quest agreement, it states they cannot bill for Part A and the facility will need to seek reimbursement. Quest is meeting with HHS to clarify billing for hospice under Medicare and VA coverage. Some insurance companies do not recognize Quest labs and the State is looking into that as well. Quest will bill Medicare under Part B .
LeadingAge Recovery Considerations
LeadingAge has developed two sets of reopening and recovery documents. They are for Affordable Housing and Life Plan Communities . There will be more coming on reopening practices from LeadingAge, including a Quick Cast. LeadingAge is conducting an analysis now of the states. More information is to come. 
The RESIDE Dashboard: Everything in One Place. Finally.
The current admissions process is not only inefficient and time consuming for administrators, but also a drain on revenue. Facilities can lose up to 20% of revenue due to missing or inaccurate documentation. But with RESIDE, admissions staff, regionals, and owners can oversee the entire admissions process – all in one place. Our centralized dashboard ensures accountability at each stage, full transparency into every admission, and the necessary reports to maintain compliance. See it in action .
 
Holly Kasnetz is the VP of Strategy and Implementation at RESIDE Admissions.
STATE
COVID-19 Updates and Q&A Webinars for Long-Term Care and Congregate Residential Settings
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is hosting webinars to provide COVID-19 updates and answer questions from long-term care and congregate residential settings.
 
To register, click on dates below:
 
 
 
Webinar attendance is limited. If you cannot register or get in, email Michael Moore .
IDPH will be recording the webinars and sending out the links of the recordings.
IHDA Housing Blueprint Initiative
The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is requesting participation in a survey that will aid in identifying data sources to contribute to their Housing Blueprint Initiative and in turn assist with housing needs of many population groups including our seniors. The deadline is May 29.
Governor Pritzker’s Daily Press Conference Updates
Governor JB Pritzker is conducting daily press 2:30 p.m. conferences on COVID-19. Click here to listen daily.  LeadingAge Illinois monitors the briefings daily for information coming directly from the Governor and Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). 
 
Yesterday’s update included:
 
Cases:
  • 2,388 new cases (100,418 total)
  • 147 new deaths (4,525 total)
 
Testing:
  • 642,713
  • 21,029 in last 24 hours
 
Hospitalizations:
  • 3,914
  • 1,005 in ICU
  • 554 on ventilators
  • Lowest since capturing data began
 
Long Term Care:
The Governor has indicated in a number of briefings that information on long term care outbreaks can be found at the IDPH website . Information provided is provisional, subject to change, and updated weekly. Facilities report data to their local health departments, which in-turn report IDPH, so lag time and discrepancies are to be expected, according to the State.
 
Restore Illinois:
The Governor reported that the rate of spread has reduced, positivity rate has dropped (10.3%, 7-day average), hospitalizations have decreased, ICU bed usage has decreased and ventilator usage has decreased. All regions are on pace to move to Phase 3 of Restore Illinois on May 29, with modifications to allow for things like outdoor restaurant dining and recreation. 
FEDERAL
Provider Relief Fund Update
HHS announced yesterday that by June 3, providers who have received two payments from the Provider Relief Fund General Distribution payments must attest to the terms and conditions in the Attestation Portal as well as submit their financial information through the General Distribution Portal.
 
LeadingAge is still awaiting written FAQ confirmation that providers can report lost revenues across all business lines under the TIN receiving the payments. Providers that have only received one payment as of April 24 have until June 3 to submit their financial information through the General Distribution Portal to be eligible for additional payments from the $50 billion general distribution. If not submitted by June 3, these providers won’t be eligible for a payment from this tranche. This does not appear to prohibit these providers from being eligible for future targeted distributions.
Delayed CARES Act Funds for Senior Housing
HUD issued the fourth wave of relief funds from the CARES Act. This week’s allocation goes to support new housing vouchers for non-elderly people with disabilities. However, funds for senior housing community and service coordinators continue to be delayed. LeadingAge is urging HUD action to help providers with crisis costs.
One-Stop Federal Site on Eviction and Mortgage Protections
HUD, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Housing Finance Agency have teamed up to produce a one-stop source of information for individuals on eviction protections and foreclosure relief under COVID-19.
 
The CARES Act included an eviction moratorium for nonpayment of rent and prohibits late fees or other penalties for anyone renting from an owner who has a federally insured or Government Sponsored Entity (GSE)-backed mortgage, living in federally subsidized housing or getting a federally subsidized grant or voucher. This moratorium is in place until July 24, 2020. The CARES Act also protects additional renters from eviction for nonpayment of rent if their owner has a federally- or GSE-backed mortgage and receives mortgage forbearance relief under the CARES Act. The site includes information on how to determine if a rental home has a federally- or GSE-backed mortgage.
 
Because many state and local governments have also implemented their own eviction moratoria, the site links to Princeton University’s Eviction Lab , one of several sites keeping track of these state and local laws.
 
Regarding mortgage relief options, the site reviews protections for homeowners with mortgages that are federally or Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) backed or funded (by FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac). Tools help users figure out who services their mortgage and whether their mortgage is federally-backed or funded. For people with mortgages that are not federally backed or funded, the site also walks users through how to contact their mortgage servicer and determine what relief options may be available.
 
The site links to a searchable database offered by the National Low Income Housing Coalition that will allow some renters to identify if their home is covered by the CARES Act eviction moratoriums. According to NLIHC, these tools contain data on millions of apartments in multifamily housing insured by the Federal Housing Administration or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and millions more supported by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, HUD, and/or USDA programs.
 
If you are renting from an owner who has a federally insured or Government Sponsored Entity (GSE)-backed mortgage, live in federally subsidized housing or get a federally subsidized grant or voucher, you cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent between March 27 and July 24, 2020 due to the CARES Act.
 
Provisions in the HEROES Act, which passed the House on May 15, would expand an eviction moratorium to all renters, regardless of whether they have a written lease and regardless of whether their home is federally subsidized or federally-backed.
OTHER NEWS
LeadingAge Illinois Monthly HUD Member Call Set for June 16
Please join us for the next monthly LeadingAge Illinois HUD Member Update on June 16 at Noon. These calls feature Linda Couch, Vice President of Housing Policy and Juliana Bilowich, Director, Housing Operations and Policy at LeadingAge, Washington, D.C.  You will receive important updates on HUD and COVID-19 issues. There is also time for sharing best practices, asking questions and discussion. RSVP to Jason Speaks
Value First – Opportunities for Prevention and Detection of Covid-19
Value First has partnered with American Knits, a US based company, to provide reusable gowns and masks for our communities. Value First now has a contract with Strategic Lab Partners to order COVID-19 testing kits, and with Meridian for a personnel management system to help with temperature monitoring. See below for addition information.
 
As part of a consortium with Hanes, America Knits manufactures Level 1 Isolation Gowns and Personal Safety Masks in Swainsboro, Georgia. America Knits is identified as a trusted supplier but Value First does not have a GPO agreement with this supplier; LeadingAge members are receiving the manufacturer cost with no fees being paid to Value First or any other entity outside of America Knits.
 
Strategic Lab Partners is now procuring COVID 19 testing materials that includes Universal Transport Media and swabs. SLP has relationships with multiple transport media manufacturers and has the ability to create kits quickly for COVID 19 testing.
 
Meridian’s Personnel Management Solution is designed to help protect the health and safety of both employees and guests by preventing anyone with a temperature from entering a facility. Alarms can be added to sound when those above the temperature threshold and those without access attempt to enter.
 
Remember to check the Value First website and resource page for up-to-date information for your community. For questions or needs, contact Terry Romin at 224.230.7365.
Stimulus Check Update
Under pressure from lawmakers about delayed stimulus payments for Social Security and other benefit recipients, the IRS has added FAQs for Veterans Affairs, Railroad Pension, and Social Security Recipients. The IRS also announced the addition of 3,500 telephone representatives to help answer questions, but urged constituents to continue using the IRS website to access information. More information is available here .
LeadingAge Live Online Coronavirus Daily Member Update
LeadingAge is hosting daily live online updates each weekday afternoon. Subscribe to "LeadingAge Need to Know" via communications preferences in your MyLeadingAge account to receive email updates. Register for live online updates 5 days/week at 2:30 p.m. through May. You can find an archive of all member updates here

Also, if you’re a member of both LeadingAge Illinois and LeadingAge National, stay connected with other LeadingAge National Members and share information and resources through the MyLeadingAge Member Community: COVID-19 . This is a place to connect with your peers to share and discuss everyday practices related to the coronavirus. Take a moment now to log into your my.leadingage.org account and join the group to stay connected. LeadingAge also has a COVID-19 webpage with the latest updates, information and resources for members.
EDUCATION
LeadingAge Illinois Requests Your Feedback
As your provider association, LeadingAge Illinois wants to offer the most relevant and up-to-date education offerings in the best format possible all while being respectful of provider time constraints and staffing considerations. We’d like your feedback regarding your education needs and readiness to participate in virtual events. 
 
Please complete this short survey Friday, June 5.  It should take less than 2 minutes to complete.
 
LeadingAge Illinois staff will use your responses to plan education for the remainder of the year. Thank you in advance for responding to this request and for your dedication to serving your residents.
Dementia Communication and COVID 19: Moving Beyond the Panic
The AGE-u-cate Training Institute and AMITA Behavioral Health have partnered to provide a helpful resource for senior care providers and their family members. This webinar offers information and coping strategies for family members of loved ones living with dementia who are residing in nursing or assisted living communities. The webinar begins at the 3:17 mark.