News Archives

May 2020 Archives

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

Join Us: Legislative Wrap-Up Webinar

Join us on Thursday, May 28 at 12:30 p.m. for a recap of the 2020 legislative session. Our team will review the outcomes of the unprecedented session and share information about what to expect next. 

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Opportunities for Prevention and Detection of COVID-19

You have PPE needs. Value First has solutions that will help you prevent and detect COVID-19 in your setting. From reusable gowns and face masks to test kits and alarm systems that prevent anyone with a temperature from entering your building, check out these solutions:

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CMS Offers Weekly COVID-19 Learning Opportunities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosts several recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Here are call details for opportunities this week:  

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Update: OSHA Issued New Interim Enforcement Response Plan and Guidance for COVID-19

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recently issued an updated interim enforcement response plan for dealing with workplace investigations during COVID-19. In addition, OSHA released revised enforcement guidance for recording cases of COVID-19. These two requirements went into effect on May 26 and replace the previous interim enforcement response plan and recordkeeping guidance, respectively, on that date. Finally, OSHA also released an alert on COVID-19 Guidance for Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Workers.  

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Providers Call for More COVID-19 Relief Federal Funding for Assisted Living

As the federal government continues to provide funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, senior living providers continue to express concerns that the support leaves assisted living, memory care and independent living behind.  

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DHS Posts Form to Request Waiver of SNSA Maximum Charges

There is a new process for waiving maximum charge limits for Supplemental Nursing Service Agencies (SNSAs) when they are providing staff to work in Medicaid-certified nursing facilities that serve residents with COVID-19.   

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Rural COVID-19 Grants Available through LeadingAge MN Foundation

Applications for grants to support staff (COVID-19 Courage Funds) and to fund virtual services for Adult Day Services (COVID-19 Adult Day Services Virtual Visits & Support) are being accepted from rural LeadingAge Minnesota members. The application deadline is June 4 at 5 p.m. 

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CMS Waivers Include Nursing Home Life Safety Provisions; New FAQ Available

The most-recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) update to COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers (see pp. 25-27) includes waivers of a few life safety code provisions that may reduce disruption of patient care and potential exposure/transmission of COVID-19.  In all cases, it will be important to consider these waivers in the context of your existing life safety policies, procedures and plans.  

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MDH Announces Nearly $100 Million in Emergency Response Funding

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) posted a list of awards of emergency response grant recipients who received almost $100 million in state funds to prepare for and respond to the outbreak of COVID-19. 

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Resource Round-Up: Testing; New COVID-19 Case Management Model

This week’s COVID-19 Resource Round-Up features a new training video on specimen collection, an updated FAQ on testing and a link to the new process MDH is using for COVID-19 case management. 

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CMS Charts a Cautious, Deliberate Approach to Reopening Nursing Homes

In a press release and memo to state officials on May 18, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outlines critical steps that nursing homes and communities should take prior to relaxing protective restrictions currently in place and identifies factors state officials should consider in deciding when it is safe to re-open. While the guidance is specific to nursing homes, it may serve as a foundation for decisions affecting housing with services and assisted living communities as well.  

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Legislature Adjourns But Work Far From Complete

The COVID-19 pandemic upended the 2020 legislative session, resulting in legislative breaks, remote hearings, limited public engagement and challenges to the governor’s peacetime emergency executive powers. The difficulties culminated to an inconclusive finish at midnight on May 18. Governor Walz will likely call the Legislature back on June 12 in order to extend his current peacetime emergency authority. 

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Adult Day: Allowable Services

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has amended service delivery for Adult Day Services in response to COVID -19. Allowable services, with the consent of the Veteran as allowed by state plan, include: 

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Leadership Academy Fellows Begin Year of Engagement and Growth

The 27 fellows in our 2020 Leadership Academy kicked off the second decade of our leadership development program with a unique start: meeting via Zoom due to social distancing guidelines.  

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New COVID-19 Resources

In this week’s COVID-19 Resource Round-Up, we share new materials on guidance on compassionate care visits, resident transfers, recommendations for admissions, and employment law FAQS related to PPE and workplace accommodations.  

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Protecting Mental Health & Wellbeing During COVID-19

The impact of the coronavirus goes beyond physical health. The mental health and wellbeing of residents, clients, leadership, and staff are also at risk. We are sharing free, on-demand, short-form learning opportunities to help you address these aspects of this pandemic. 

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New CMS Toolkit Helps Advance Telehealth

In response to the COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded access to telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries and nursing home residents. A new toolkit from CMS can help states identify which aspects of their statutory and regulatory infrastructure may impede the rapid deployment of telehealth capabilities in their Medicaid program.  

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DHS Releases Bulletin on Add-On Payments for Customized Living

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) this week released a bulletin that describes the process for providing add-on payments to customized living providers who have confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving residents or staff. 

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Resource Roundup: Sample Checklist and Policies

This week’s Resource Round-Up is all about sample policies and survey checklists. 

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Now Available: COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfecting Webinar Recording & Handouts

As reported last week, HUD and the CDC delivered presentations on their interim guidance on facility cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19. The recorded webinar and handouts, which are helpful to any housing setting and staff, is now available.  

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President Trump Calls for Testing of All Nursing Home Residents and Staff

President Trump yesterday called upon states to universally test all nursing home residents and staff within the next two weeks. The announcement, however, did not provide details or support for how states would complete this widespread testing. 

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Housing Support Rate Increases July 1

The annual re-calculation of the Housing Support, formerly Group Residential Housing (GRH), rate that covers rent and raw food for eligible participants has resulted in an increase of $12 per month. The new rate of $934 will be effective July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021.  

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Rate Increase for Elderly Waiver

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) recently announced the imminent launch of a new program to pay enhanced rates to Customized Living providers who have a confirmed case of COVID-19 (residents or staff) in their setting.  

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Walz Announces 5-Point Battle Plan

Governor Walz last week announced a 5-Point Battle Plan to Protect the Most Vulnerable, which is targeted at seniors and their caregivers in nursing homes and assisted living.  

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Alzheimer’s Association Offers Project ECHO Series on Emergency Preparedness

In response to COVID-19, the Alzheimer’s Association has developed a special topic Project ECHO series based on their guidance Emergency Preparedness: Caring for persons living with dementia in a long-term or community-based care setting. 

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Nursing Home Reporting Requirements Take Effect May 8

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on May 1 released an interim final rule containing new nursing home requirements for reporting COVID-19 data. We have prepared a summary of the rule (updated May 5), which directs facilities to report information to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) system and to notify residents, resident representatives and families of COVID-related information.  

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Nursing Home Reporting Requirements Will Take Effect May 8

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on May 1 released an interim final rule containing new nursing home requirements for reporting COVID-19 data. We have prepared a summary of the rule (updated May 5), which directs nursing homes to report information to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) system and to notify to residents, resident representatives and families of COVID-related information. 

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Dementia Care Certificate Program Begins May 28 and June 5

Our popular four-part Dementia Care Certificate Program begins with two webinars on May 28 and June 5.  

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