COVID-19 UPDATE #106
November 25, 2020
DEPARTMENT CLARIFIES VISITATION CRITERIA, OMBUDSMAN RESCINDS RECENT FLYER
On Tuesday morning, November 24, 2020, DSHS/DOH presented a “Safe Start and Visitation Update” webinar. During the webinar information was provided that conflicted with WHCA’s understanding of the Governor’s recent proclamation and the August 2020 Safe Start Plan. Over the course of the last two days we have been working to get any misstatements corrected. To further complicate matters, yesterday the Long Term Care Ombudsman began circulating a flyer informing residents that long term care facilities could not refuse resident requests for a “support visitor.” This further confused the issue.

After a great deal of discussion, the Department has agreed to issue a clarification. The Department’s communication on this issue can be found here and here. These provisions will remain in effect until at least December 14, 2020, and could be extended. In addition, the LTC Ombudsman has agreed to rescind its flyer.

The Department’s clarification provides as follows:

Phase 1
Outdoor visitation
  • Limited to two (2) visitors per day (same as now)

Indoor visitation
  • End of life
  • If resident is unable to participate in outdoor or remote visits, an essential support person is allowed to visit once daily only for a compassionate care reason       

Phase 2
Outdoor Visitation
  • Limited to five (5) people for an outdoor visit including the resident

Indoor Visitation
  • End of life
  • If resident is unable to participate in outdoor or remote visits, an essential support person is allowed to visit once daily only for a compassionate care reason.

If you have questions, please contact Elena Madrid or Vicki McNealley.
ASSISTED LIVING AND SKILLED NURSING FACILITY GUIDANCE REGARDING ANTIGEN TESTING REPORTING
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has announced they are introducing a new guidance for facilities conducting point-of-care (POC) COVID-19 testing to report results. Facilities administering POC testing for COVID-19 must report all their COVID-19 testing results to DOH. Reporting COVID-19 test results is legally required by Washington State WAC 246-101 and Washington State Board of Health’s emergency rule, WAC 246-101-017 (PDF). We are providing the POC Reporting Spreadsheet Template and the POC Reporting Form (final).

Additional information is available on the DOH webpage Reporting COVID-19 Test Results for Point-of-Care Testing Facilities. The webpage includes more information on where results should be sent (to DOH and how) and that positives and negatives need to be included. Additional information will be added to clarify questions submitted to DOH. Residential Care Services is currently working on a Dear Administrator/Provider letter to address this issue. If you have questions about reporting COVID-19 POC testing results, email doh-surv@doh.wa.gov
FUNDS RELATED TO FEDERAL COVID-19 TESTING GUIDELINES
On November 6, 2020, a message was sent to Washington State nursing facilities stating that a one-time payment of approximately $680 per licensed bed would be made to help pay for increased testing as required by CMS.

Washington State nursing facilities will be receiving $685.08 per licensed bed soon, as the payments are being issued November 30, 2020. You should see your one-time payment deposited via EFT or receive a paper check shortly after December 1, 2020. It will show “COVID testing pmt” in the invoice number field and the name of NH (first 32 characters) in the vendor message field, which will show up on your remittance advice.
COVID-19 TRAINING ALLOWED FOR NURSING HOME ADMINISTRATOR CE REQUIREMENTS
The Board of Nursing Home Administrators has issued a letter providing information about a rule the board recently passed. The rule allows continuing education credit for pandemic-related training and activities. The The attestation form can be found here.
FREE ONE-TIME PCR TESTING OPPORTUNITY
We have received notification of a free one-time testing opportunity with Corteva Agriscience. On Friday, December 18, 2020, Corteva plans to simultaneously receive approximately 100,000 samples from individuals across the United States to demonstrate a COVID-19 testing platform that can process this many diagnostic lab samples in one day. Results are planned to be returned electronically to all participants within 24-48 hours of collection. This is a PCR-based test that will meet CMS testing requirements.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please review the following materials for more information:

If you are interested in this program, either on behalf of your corporation/company or individual center, please email barryjd@prahs.com with a contact name, number, and email. A team member from PRA Health Sciences will contact you with further information.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
WHCA continues to post resources and information as it becomes available on our website. If you have questions or need additional information, please call the WHCA office at (800) 562-6170.