COVID-19 UPDATE #13
March 24, 2020
DEAR ADMINISTRATOR LETTER EXPLAINS HOW TO REQUEST PPE NOW ARRIVING IN WASHINGTON
In a Dear Administrator letter dated March 23, 2020, providers are informed that Washington is now receiving a supply of much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) that includes gloves, gowns, masks, and face shields. Priority for PPE is being given to facilities with positive COVID-19 residents and to first responders.

If your facility is in need of PPE, please submit your request utilizing the supply request form through your local health jurisdiction or emergency response network.

Submit your completed form to the following contacts:
CMS ANNOUNCES PRIORITIZATION OF SURVEY ACTIVITIES
On March 23, 2020, CMS released guidance prioritizing and suspending most federal and state survey agency (SSA) surveys, and delaying revisit surveys for the next three weeks beginning on March 20, 2020, for all nursing homes. For non-IJ related onsite surveys that are currently in process, survey teams are instructed to end the survey and exit the facility.  

State and federal surveyors should not enter the building, for any type of survey, if they are unable to meet the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) expectations outlined by the latest CDC guidance. They may instead obtain necessary information remotely, to the extent possible.

Federal and state surveyors will conduct targeted infection control surveys of providers identified together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). They will use this survey tool to review infection prevention and control practices. All facilities are highly encouraged to utilize the survey tool to conduct their own facility self-assessment to ensure measures are in place and to demonstrate a proactive approach to COVID-19 prevention.

Additional changes over the next three weeks include:
  • Standard surveys and non-IJ revisits are suspended for three weeks.
  • Complaints and facility-reported incidents triaged at the IJ level will continue.
  • Perform self-assessments on infection control using surveyor tool.

Click here to read the full update on changes in survey prioritization during this time.
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.