COVID-19 UPDATE #54
July 13, 2020
CMS UPDATES QSO MEMO WITH INFORMATION ABOUT OMBUDS IN SNF
CMS has issued updated guidance regarding Ombuds visits dated July 9, 2020, via QSO Memo 20-28 . Residents still have the right to access the Ombuds program. Their in-person access should be restricted (except in compassionate care situations); however, facilities may review this on a case-by-case basis. Facilities need to facilitate resident communication (by phone or other format) with the Ombudsman program or any other entity listed in 42 CFR § 483.10(f)(4)(i) .
OPPORTUNITY TO ENAGE WITH NURSING HOME COMMISSION - SUBMIT FEEDBACK BY JULY 17
The Commission on Safety & Quality in Nursing Homes has a new public engagement option which is open to receive feedback until  July 17, 2020, 5 PM ET.  This is a key opportunity to share thoughts directly with the Commission.  We encourage you to take advantage of this important opportunity to share your voice and input with the Commission.  
 
The American Health Care Association (AHCA) has identified top priorities and solutions  for each of the objectives of the Commission as well as  key support that nursing homes need to receive from CMS. Please use these resources to help inform the feedback you provide to the Commission and feel free to build from any one or more of the priorities, solutions, and asks in these documents.  Please tailor your responses to your own experiences  as the individualized messaging of your story is most important and meaningful to drive change. 

If you have any questions, please email Holly Harmon . Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with the Commission.
DEAR ADMINISTRATOR LETTER CONFIRMS EXTENSION OF COVID-19 PROCLAMATIONS
In a Dear Administrator letter dated July 8, 2020 , DSHS informed assisted living, skilled nursing, and other long term care providers that on July 1, 2020, at Governor Inslee’s request, the leadership in the Washington State Legislature extended the ending date of 22 Governor Proclamations to midnight on August 1, 2020. These proclamations include several related to assisted living and skilled nursing providers. The following proclamations (related to long term care) were extended. Not every proclamation applies to every care setting:
  • Telemedicine
  • Healthcare Worker Licensing
  • Nurse Aide Registered Waiver (NH)
  • Facilities – AL and NH Construction-related Waivers
  • NH Transfer or Discharge/Cohorting Residents
  • Emergency Declaration
  • Restricting Visitation at Facilities and Training and Certification Requirements in Chapter 388-112A
  • Suspension of licensing visits, fingerprint waiver, NH staffing waivers
DOH COVID-19 FAQ UPDATED
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document for COVID-19 testing of residents and staff of skilled nursing centers and assisted living centers with memory care units was updated July 9, 2020. Click here to access the updated document.
NCSBN OFFERS A FREE SERIES OF COVID-19 COURSES FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is offering an invaluable series of free online COVID-19 courses for healthcare professionals. Three of the courses offer continuing education credit upon completion. The courses include:
  • COVID-19: Epidemiology, Modes of Transmission and Protecting Yourself with PPE
  • COVID-19: Nursing Care
  • COVID-19: Basic Law and Ethics for Nurses during COVID-19
  • COVID-19: Credible Information, Hoaxes and the Media

Nurses and other healthcare workers are invited to self-enroll through ICRS Connections Catalog . If you have questions, you can submit them via email here .
WHCA UPDATES FAQ DOCUMENTS
Since the initial impact of COVID-19 affected assisted living and skilled nursing centers across Washington, WHCA has worked to provide information, answers, resources, and tools to help our members respond to this public health emergency. A collection of frequently asked questions (FAQ) has been compiled and updated as new information becomes available. We have updated the Assisted Living FAQ and the Skilled Nursing FAQ documents.
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.