COVID-19 UPDATE #144
March 15, 2021
DSHS OFFERING WEBINARS TO UPDATE PROVIDERS ON LTC SAFE START PLAN
The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) will be hosting webinars this week to provide updates on the LTC Safe Start Plan for both assisted living and skilled nursing. Providers are encouraged to participate in one of the webinars to ensure you know what new guidance and requirements are in place as the LTC Safe Start Plan undergoes changes to adapt to affects and impacts of the pandemic. DSHS will be sending a Dear Provider letter about the webinars as well. Click on any of the three links below to register.


It is important that providers continue to follow their current Safe Start Plan. We will communicate with you again as soon as the Governor’s Proclamation is in place and provide you with updated information. 
AHCA AND LEADINGAGE ANNOUNCE CARE FOR OUR SENIORS ACT
Improving America's Nursing Homes by Learning From Tragedy and Implementing Bold Solutions for the Future
The American Health Care Association (AHCA) and LeadingAge are pleased to announce the Care for Our Seniors Act. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed and exacerbated systemic issues impacting our industry, including workforce shortages, aging physical plants, and underfunded government reimbursements for care. These policy proposals are the result of months of discussion and reflection and are solutions on key principles we believe will drive change in nursing homes.
Reform comes with a cost, and this proposal includes financing mechanisms and other details vital to the success of these policies. It is time for the federal government and state governments to step up and make a commitment to our residents. The Act proposes a significant increase in federal Medicaid funds, with a required commitment from states to maintain funding levels and cover our costs.
You can learn more about the Care for Our Seniors Act on the AHCA website and in the joint AHCA/LeadingAge press release. The policy proposals focus on four key areas, and each require government resources and support:
  1. Clinical: Enhanced Quality Care – Enhance Infection Preventionist, 24-hour Registered Nurse, and Minimum 30-day Supply of PPE
  2. Workforce: Strengthen and Support our Frontline Caregivers – Recruit and Retain More Long Term Caregivers
  3. Oversight: Improve Systems to be More Resident-Driven – Improve the Survey Process for Better Resident Care, Address Chronic Poor Performing Facilities, and Publicly Report Customer Satisfaction
  4. Structural – Address Aging Infrastructure With a Greater Emphasis on Autonomy, Dignity, and Privacy

Additionally, AHCA will host a webinar on Tuesday, March 16, at 2:00 PM Eastern to review the policy proposal and answer questions. Please be sure to register in advance as space will be limited.
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.