COVID-19 UPDATE #71
August 26, 2020
MARK PARKINSON TO HOST WEBINAR ON POST-COVID-19 SENIOR LIVING LANDSCAPE
COVID-19 has drastically impacted senior living and skilled nursing providers, reshaping the way care is delivered. As this landscape continues to evolve, providers must change to match its shifting surface.

You are invited to join Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and Kevin Scalia, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Netsmart, on August 27 at 10 AM PST as they discuss the current and future state of the senior care industry. Register to attend this webinar to learn:
  • Opportunities for COVID-19 relief
  • Role of technology now and in the future
  • Which practices, policies, and technologies will persist post COVID-19
  • Impact of future regulation and upcoming election
LICENSE EXPIRATION EXTENSION ENDING, RENEW BY SEPTEMBER 30 TO AVOID LATE FEE
To allow healthcare professionals the ability to focus on patient care during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Secretary of Health extended expiration dates for licenses due for renewal between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020. All fees were waived during this period.

What does this mean for you? For healthcare professionals who took advantage of the extended time to renew, this is a reminder that you must renew your credential on or before September 30 in order for your credential to remain active and avoid late fees.

How do you renew if you need to? If you opted to delay renewal and have passed your normal expiration date, you will need to renew your credential by:
  • Renewing through the online licensing system (credit card, debit card or e-check accepted), or
  • Returning your Department of Health (DOH) renewal notice with payment by mail (check or money order accepted).

Some professions are not able to renew late online at this time. You can find a list of professions who are able to renew after their normal expiration date on the License Expiration Extension Frequently Asked Questions page.

No late fees will be due as long as your payment is received online prior to 11:59 PM on September 30; or postmarked no later than September 30. If you have questions, please call DOH at (360) 236-4700.
CMS ISSUES NEW REPORTING AND TESTING REQUIREMENTS FOR NURSING HOMES
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an interim final rule with comment period that revises regulations in several areas for long term care facilities and other providers. Importantly, this rule establishes a new requirement for long term care facilities for COVID-19 testing of residents and staff. CMS did not establish a specific frequency or criteria for testing in the rule but listed potential criteria that will be considered and addressed further in guidance.

The regulations are effective immediately upon their publication at the Office of the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred. Most of the new regulations are applicable only for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. CMS is providing a 60-day comment period for public input on these requirements.

Here is a high-level summary of the new testing requirements. A more detailed analysis and summary of additional provisions of the rule will follow.

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) continues to advocate for access to, and systems to support, reliable testing with rapid results for skilled nursing facility residents and staff. They also continue to advocate that CMS guidance on the implementation of routine testing requirements for nursing homes acknowledges ongoing challenges with access to testing supplies and timely testing results. This includes flexibility to implement evolving knowledge about optimal uses of and approaches to testing and does not penalize providers for factors beyond their control.
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.