COVID-19 UPDATE #58
July 23, 2020
ASSISTED LIVING COVID-19 EMERGENCY FUNDS SLASHED BY 50 PERCENT
We have been informed that the assisted living COVID-19 add-on for Medicaid clients in assisted living will be reduced by half for the period of July 1 to September 30, 2020. The rate will be approximately $4.79/ppd. The Health Care Authority has yet to issue updated information regarding this funding, which stopped on July 1. We understand HCA is currently updating codes that will allow providers to submit COVID add-on claims retroactive to July 1 in the coming weeks. We continue to oppose cuts to emergency funds intended to address the extraordinary costs of PPE and staffing, and urge you to communicate with the Governor and legislators about this loss of funding. Click here to send a message opposing these cuts.
DSHS RATES UNITS (FINALLY) PUBLISHES SNF RATES
On July 22, the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Rates Unit finally published the July 1, 2020, skilled nursing facility rates . The rates include a $13PPD “COVID-19 Add On.” WHCA continues its efforts to maintain the add-on through the end of the year. While we remain committed to fight to keep the add-on, SNF providers should prepare for the reduction of the COVID-19 add-on to $5PPD starting August 1. The Governor’s office and your legislators are refusing to acknowledge the need for additional funding to fight COVID-19. If you want to help us keep the COVID-19 add-on, it is critical that you continue to engage you elected representatives through the WHCA Advocacy page
DOH UPDATES COVID-19 LONG TERM CARE REPORT
On July 21, the Department of Health (DOH) issued an update of its Long Term Care Report . The report contains updated data associated with long term care facilities in Washington State, including long term care cases by illness onset date, deaths with long term care association and confirmed long term care associated cases and deaths by county.
PARKINSON ANNOUNCED ADDITIONAL SNF FUNDING FOR TESTING
Last night, American Health Care Association’s (AHCA) Mark Parkinson announced that the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would release an additional $5 billion. The additional funding will help cover a soon-to-be-announced CMS rule requiring testing of staff on a weekly basis. For more information, you can access Mark Parkinson’s statement here .
CDC UPDATES TRANSMISSION BASED PRECAUTIONS, DURATION OF ISOLATION, AND RETURN TO WORK CRITERIA
On July 17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted substantial changes to the transmission-based precautions. As the CDC continues to learn more about the COVID-19 virus, they continue to revise prior guidance. The CDC updated the discontinuation of transmission-based precautions and disposition of patients with COVID-19 in healthcare settings . The guidance removes the test-based strategy and replaces it with a time-based strategy. Read more .
NHSN UPDATES INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE SUPPLIES AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT PATHWAY
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) updated the instructions for completing the NHSN pathway for Supplies and Personal Protective Equipment.

Below is a summary of changes made to the instructions :
  • Section dedicated to selecting the correct facility type for NHSN enrollment
  • Section on conventional capacity for personal protective equipment (PPE) supply
  • Section on utilization of contingency capacity or crisis capacity strategies for PPE supply items
  • Do not include KN95 masks in the N95 mask supply item questions
  • Contingency and crisis level strategies are not considered as having “any” supply, and therefore, “NO” must be selected for each supply item in which contingency or crisis strategies are being used.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT PROVIDER LIST
Identifying reliable personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers during the COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely challenging for providers. AHCA/NCAL has vetted countless vendors and concluded that the best indicator of potential suppliers is members’ experiences ordering and receiving supplies in this uncertain time. AHCA/NCAL has compiled a list of vendors that have successfully delivered PPE to members during the pandemic.
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.