COVID-19 UPDATE #123
January 5, 2021
COVID-19 VACCINE SAFETY: A FIRESIDE CHAT WITH CMS, CDC, AND FRONTLINE STAFF AND PROVIDERS
Join the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday, January 6, at 1 PM PST for a fireside chat on vaccine safety.

This is the second discussion in a special series--a part of the CMS National Nursing Home Stakeholder Call Series--aimed at addressing staff questions and concerns about the new COVID-19 vaccine. Each session will be moderated by CMS with speakers from CDC and representatives of front line staff and providers. 

This chat will continue to address myths surrounding vaccine danger with the following panelists:  
  • Dr. Lee Fleisher, CMS Chief Medical Officer and Director, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CMS)  
  • Dr. Amanda Cohn, Chief Medical Officer (Acting), Office of Vaccine Policy, Preparedness, and Global Health, Office of the Director (CDC)  
  • Cassandra Lowe, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) 

Questions for the panel discussion should be sent in advance to COVID-19@cms.hhs.gov. There will not be a Q&A session during the call. The CDC's long term care toolkit is also available here.

In addition, we are providing a direct link and passcode to Fireside Chat event from December 30, 2020. The passcode for this recording is vC9!zPQ.—this passcode includes the period after the Q. All copies and recordings for CMS webinars are posted here.
WA STATE DOH COVID-19 VACCINATION GUIDANCE
PHASE 1A ONLY
The Department of Health (DOH) updated their Tier 1A vaccination guidance to officially include “Residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other community-based congregate living settings where most individuals over 65 years of age are receiving care, supervision, or assistance” for the independent residents. Click here for the documentation provided by DOH for Vaccine Allocation Guidance for Phase 1A.
DEAR ADMINISTRATOR LETTER PROVIDES SNF REIMBURSEMENT RATES FOR JANUARY 1, 2021 | INCLUDES COVID-19 ADD-ON RATE
In a Dear Administrator letter dated December 30, 2020, skilled nursing providers were notified of the rates calculated for January 1, 2021. The letter confirmed an important change. The $7.50 add-on related to COVID-19 is now $8.30 and has been included in the January 1, 2021, rate. The letter advises providers with questions about the rates to contact their facility analyst. A list of those individuals can be found here.
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.