News Archives

March 2020 Archives

Below is a list of all of the articles published in the selected month, ordered from most recent to least.

Webinar: How to Prepare for a Surge

Is your setting ready for an influx in a surge of residents? Do you have a surge plan? Join LeadingAge for a webinar on Thursday, March 26 from Noon-1 p.m. 

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#ThankACaregiver: Face Aging MN Launches Caregiver Appreciation Campaign

Professional caregivers provide critical support to those most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19 – our seniors. They deserve our gratitude. Face Aging MN has launched a new #ThankACaregiver campaign to encourage Minnesotans to share a message of appreciation with a senior caregiver via a web portal.  

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Delayed Implementation of Updated MDS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is delaying the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 v1.18.1 release, which had been scheduled for Oct. 1, 2020, in response to stakeholder concerns. 

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MDH Cancels March 26 Assisted Living Licensure Advisory Committee Meeting

Due to COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has cancelled the Assisted Living Licensure Rules Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for March 26.  

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BENHA Provides Guidance on Continuing Education During COVID-19

While the license renewal cycle for nursing home administrators historically activates in May, the Minnesota Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators (BENHA) recognizes that these are unprecedented times. In a news release distributed this week, BENHA provided the following counsel regarding continuing education or clock hours to renew your license:  

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LeadingAge MN COVID-19 HUDDLE Moves to Friday

Recognizing the number of update calls you participate in mid-week, we have moved our COVID-19 HUDDLE to Fridays.

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Links to Governor’s Executive Orders

In response to COVID-19, Governor Tim Walz has released a series of Executive Orders. We have provided summaries of these via our daily update emails. Below you will find links to the Executive Orders that affect you and your staff: 

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CMS Will Limit and Prioritize Survey Activity for Next Three Weeks

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has directed state agencies to suspend standard surveys for long term care facilities (nursing homes), hospitals, home health agencies, ICFs, and hospices during a 3-week prioritization period from March 20–April 10.  

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State Works to Inventory and Increase Availability of PPE

In an effort to ensure that Minnesota health care facilities have the resources needed to treat patients, Governor Walz this week issued Executive Order 20-16 which requires any Minnesota business, nonprofit or non-hospital health care facility – excluding nursing homes – to submit an inventory of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and donate what they are not using for critical health care or essential services. This process should result in more PPE becoming available. 

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Just-In-Time COVID-19 Training Module Available from EduCare

In response to the growing need for COVID-19 training and education, our online training partner EduCare released a new course focused on COVID-19 symptoms and reporting protocols, proper preparation protocols, state infection prevention and control practices and what to do if you suspect a respiratory illness.  

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National Health Plan Association Indicates Plans Will Follow CMS SNF Policies During Emergency

The American Association of Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), which include many plans that offer Medicare Advantage plans to Minnesota consumers, recently announced that they are going to be matching the recent “blanket” CMS waivers on the three day stay and benefit period requirements. 

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HUD Issues Updated Rent Increase Guidance for PRAC Owners

As of March 18, HUD has restarted routine processing and approval of Section 202 PRAC rent adjustments to increase Reserve for Replacement deposits. There have been several updates to field office procedures for reviewing Capital Needs Assessments (CNAs) and determining how capital needs should be reflected in annual PRAC project operating rents.   

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CMS Announces Reporting Relief for QRP and VBP

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced it is implementing exceptions and extensions for upcoming measure reporting and data submission deadlines for several quality reporting programs.  

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Emergency Funding: MDH Grant Deadline is Today; New Details for Nursing Homes

The deadline to apply for the first round of emergency assistance funding from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), a total of $50 million for health care provider, is midnight TODAY.  

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CMS Waives Three Day Stay Requirement during National Emergency

As part of the national emergency declaration in response to COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that they are waiving the three-day hospital stay requirement before a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Medicare A stay. 

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MDH Issues Visitor Restrictions for Residential Settings with At-Risk Residents

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has issued updated guidance advising residential settings with at-risk residents, including housing with services establishments and their arranged home care providers, residential hospices, and licensed-only nursing homes, to impose strict limitations on visitation and to take other operational steps to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. 

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Update: Assisted Living Licensure Rulemaking

At an Assisted Living Licensure Rulemaking Advisory Task Force meeting last week, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported that it is hoping to have a complete draft rule prepared and posted to its website and sent to the Revisor by mid-April.  

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Support Resources for Staff

Now more than ever, staff may be experiencing housing, food, and childcare insecurities. If you have staff who need additional support from community organizations such as Emergency Housing Assistance, Minnesota Food Helpline, or energy assistance programs, please see the Community Support Resource Guide for referral sources.

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Participate in our VIRTUAL Day at the Capitol

Due to COVID-19, we have canceled all in-person activities for our annual Day at the Capitol on March 19 and are instead encouraging you to connect with your lawmakers virtually. To help facilitate your advocacy, we have scheduled a 1-hour webinar on Thursday, March 19 at 9 a.m.   

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COVID-19: Resource Round-Up

We know guidance, recommendations and resources on COVID-19 are coming at you from a multitude of directions and that you are being flooded with minute-by-minute news updates on this virus. What follows is a quick recap of information you may find helpful this week as you combat COVID-19: 

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LeadingAge MN Postpones Education Events

In response to guidance to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the 2020 Sales & Marketing in Senior Living certificate program has been postponed until later this year. In addition, we have postponed the Performance Excellence in Aging Services workshop.

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Affordable Housing: HUD Postpones REAC Inspections, Provides COVID-19 Guidance

HUD announced last week that the Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) is postponing all property inspections on all public housing, multi-family housing, and servicing mortgagee properties. This includes senior housing. 

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Federal Government Begins Legislative Response to COVID-19

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that addresses many needs related to the COVID-19 emergency, including aid to states, access to testing, and funding for unemployment insurance and sick leave for impacted workers. That bill has moved to the Senate, which is currently considering whether to pass that measure or to combine it with another measure they are working on, which would pump $850 billion into the economy to try and avoid a recession - primarily through direct payments to individuals.  

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DHS Extends PIPP Application Deadline

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is delaying the application deadline for the 2020 Performance Incentive Payment Program (PIPP) Request for Proposal (RFP) until May 1, so nursing home staff can focus on COVID-19 emergency preparedness. 

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DHS Postpones Pilot Testing of Assisted Living Quality of Life and Satisfaction Surveys

The Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Board on Aging have postponed plans for pilot-testing resident quality of life surveys and family satisfaction surveys with Minnesota assisted living settings until further notice. 

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MDH Issues Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Testing Criteria

Due to a national shortage of COVID-19 laboratory testing materials, the State of Minnesota is forced to make adjustments to its testing criteria to focus on the highest priority specimens, including hospitalized patients. Health care workers and those in congregate living settings such as long-term care will also be given high priority.  

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Adult Day: COVID-19 Communication Tools

At this time, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has not mandated closure for adult day centers. It is up to each provider to determine whether it will continue to stay open or temporarily close. The following is guidance and communications tools you can use: 

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Legislature Passes Emergency Funding Bill

The Minnesota Legislature passed HF3890 containing $200 million in resources for the health care sector to battle COVID-19. The package is comprised of two funds: 

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DOJ Targets Grossly Substandard Care in Nursing Homes

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a National Nursing Home Initiative that will coordinate and enhance civil and criminal efforts to pursue nursing homes that provide grossly substandard care to their residents. 

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The Key to Serving Middle-Income Older Adults? Partnerships

It’s a statistic that can’t be ignored: 54% of the 14.4 million middle-income older adults in 2029 will lack the financial resources to pay for seniors housing and care. We know it will take public and private collaboration to address this looming crisis. We also know there are steps providers should be taking now to be best positioned for these partnerships.  

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