News Archives

June 2020 Archives

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

CMS Announces Changes to Five-Star System and Restart of PBJ Data Submission

In a policy memo on June 25, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced temporary changes to the 5-star rating system on Nursing Home Compare. These changes include freezing pieces of the staffing and quality measures domains, as well as the immediate end to the payroll-based journal (PBJ) staffing submission waiver. 

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Occupancy Survey to Give First Look at Impact of COVID-19 on Care Centers

As usual, we have emailed an occupancy survey to all care centers to complete. However, these are not usual times so we are going to approach reporting the results quite differently. We are asking for responses ASAP so we can do a couple of reports of the results starting with one before the end of July. 

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We’re Going Virtual - Education & Events

It’s a sign of the times. Due to the continued social distancing guidance and diligence in protecting the people who serve our older adults, we have made the decision to convert all remaining education and conferences to online virtual events this year.

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Survey Says: Telehealth Policies to Keep Post-Pandemic

Stratis Health is conducting occasional brief surveys to capture snapshots of the expanding telehealth use in Minnesota. This telehealth snapshot focuses on telehealth policies, specifically the Medicare 1135 waiver. 

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Outdoor Visitation: Pet Visits

In its outdoor visitation guidance, MDH states that “pets must be under the control of the visitor bringing them in.” We have received a few questions as to whether residents may pet and hold the animal. MDH said residents can do so, if desired. 

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COVID-19 Resource Round-Up: Infection Control, Testing and Resident Engagement

In this week’s COVID-19 Resource Round-Up, we feature new tools that will help nursing homes enhance infection control, guide providers in testing, and ideas and guidance on how to engage residents during a time of social distancing and visitor restrictions.   

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Telehealth: COVID-19 Open the Floodgates but Barriers Remain

Telehealth has been embraced by senior living providers during COVID-19 and changes in federal policy and flexibilities from insurance have made it easier to implement and pay for it. Accompanying this positive progression is the operational demands it has placed on providers and the continued lack of reimbursement.

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Advance Beneficiary Notice for Part B Services Has Been Renewed

The Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN), Form CMS-R-131, and instructions have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for renewal. The use of the renewed form with the expiration date of June 30, 2023 will be mandatory on Aug. 31, 2020.   

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Free OSHA Recordkeeping Training Available in September, October

Maintaining an accurate OSHA log of recordable work-related injuries and illnesses is an important skill that benefits employers, workers, safety professionals and government agencies. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has announced free introductory-level training seminars about OSHA recordkeeping requirements, including recording COVID-19: 

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Modified Background Studies Process Remains in Place for Now

Members have raised questions this week about background studies, so we wanted to share an update about what we know:   

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Waiver Reimagine: July 13 Webinar

The Minnesota Department of Human Services will host a July 13 webinar to Waiver Reimagine, a process designed to make system-level improvements to Minnesota’s disability waiver programs.  

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DHS Seeks Members to Serve on HCBS Disparities Advisory Group

The University of Minnesota School of Public Health, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, invites interested stakeholders to apply to join the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Disparities Advisory Group. 

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Focused Infection Control Surveys Offer Learnings for Nursing Homes

Earlier this month the Minnesota Department of Health shared with LeadingAge Minnesota the results from Focused Infection Control surveys of Minnesota nursing homes during April and May.  As we reported earlier, 120 facilities were cited for deficient practice(s), all of those at F880 and with only 4 being cited at scope and severity level G or above. 

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Take Action: #Act4OlderAdults Because COVID is Not Over

COVID-19 is not over. The lives of seniors in our settings are at risk. Our healthcare workers are risking their lives without appropriate PPE, testing and funding. Watch this powerful message from our partners at LeadingAge. Then ask the Minnesotans who represent us in Washington for crucial resources and immediate relief to help fight COVID. Here are two thing you can do now:  

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2021 Stars Among Us Awards Open for Nomination, New Rising Star Award Introduced

The Stars Among Us Awards nominations are open, and we want to hear all about your stars. More than ever, this is a year to recognize your dedicated staff team for their tireless commitment to serving older adults. In addition to our most popular awards, we are excited to introduce a new award this year – the Rising Star Award. 

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1st Special Session of 2020 Ends Without Much Progress

The Minnesota Legislature’s first 2020 special session adjourned sine die in the early morning of June 20, just one week after Governor Walz called lawmakers back to St. Paul. Lawmakers failed to reach agreement on any of the major issues – including police reform, bonding, and distribution of CARES Act funds for COVID-19.  

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Virtual Connect Conference is Aug. 19-20, Registration Opens Today

Our annual summer conference for senior housing, assisted living and home care is the first major event to be offered in virtual format. Connect Conference is two days of education and networking. Local television personality Joe Schmit is the opening keynote speaker on Aug.19.  

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Expedited Feeding Assistant Curriculum is Available at No Cost!

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has waived the 8-hour training requirement for Paid Feeding Assistants during the public health emergency. Our partners at EduCare have released the only MDH approved expedited curriculum in Minnesota, which is a 2.5 hour online course with competencies. There is no cost to this program.  

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Resource Round-Up: Outdoor Visits; Testing Experience & Potential Vendors; Navigating Trauma

In this week’s COVID-19 Resource Round-Up, we share tools to help you plan and communicate outdoor visits, navigating the grief and trauma that accompany a global pandemic and new testing resources, including a vendor list and a webinar featured the experiences and perspectives of our LeadingAge MN members. 

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How COVID-19 and Technology Would Reshape our Future

During COVID-19, we have witnessed some needed and long-awaited changes that have been accelerated as a byproduct of our response to this global pandemic. Some of these changes, especially with respect to the use of technology, will most likely reshape our future.  

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Shared Accountability: New National Commission on Nursing Home Safety & Quality

A new White House commission focused on protecting nursing home residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond was announced last week. Providers who were appointed to that commission are seeking deeper collaboration with regulators that is focused more on solutions, not penalties.  

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Affordable Housing: RAD for PRAC Call with HUD on June 30

Affordable housing providers should plan to participate in a RAD for PRAC call with HUD on Tuesday, June 30 at 1 p.m. The call will feature information about RAD flexibilities during COVID-19 and other updates, as well as a discussion on the new RAD for PRAC forms.  

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Paycheck Protection Program Loans Still Available

As part of the response to COVID-19, the federal government has also been offering forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans to qualified small businesses through local lenders. Funding remains available for additional loans, so members who qualify and have not yet received a loan can still apply. 

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CMP Funding Still Available for COVID-19 Technology Grants

Applications are still being accepted by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) from Medicaid-certified nursing facilities to receive up to $3,000 in Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) funds to purchase communication technology. 

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Legislature is Back in Special Session

For the ninth time in 10 years, there is a legislative special session. It began on June 12 and we do not yet know the length of this special session nor is there any agreement on what issues will be resolved during it. Where do our key issues stand in terms of special session priorities?

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Round-Up: National Healthcare Safety Network Reporting

As we enter the fifth week of nursing homes reporting to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), we thought it would be worthwhile to highlight some of the information we’ve shared with members through our daily updates over the past couple of weeks.  

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Brittney Thoreson, Knute Nelson, Selected for LEAD Program

Brittney Thoreson, Vice President of Housing at Knute Nelson in Alexandria, has been a named to the inaugural cohort for LEAD, the Leadership Advancement & Development Program for the senior living field sponsored by Argentum. She is one of 27 professionals selected for this leadership excellence program.  

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Shelley Kendrick Joins Senior Living Task Force to Work on Safely Re-open

Shelley Kendrick, President and CEO of Ecumen, joins select thought leaders and prominent industry associations from across North America on the International Council on Active Aging's (ICAA) COVID-19 Senior Living Task Force.  

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New Website: Basic Care Aide Registration

LeadingAge National is hosting the Basic Care Aide through its Learning Hub. All non-EduCare users should have new students login through this portal beginning June 15EduCare users should continue to access the training through their own EduCare library. 

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Assisting with Difficult Conversations

Families and older adults may be confronting end-of-life questions that they have not prepared for before the COVID-19 pandemic. Advance Care Planning and POLST (Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment) are commonly talked about in our field, yet people may still be surprised when the situation arises when they may need to be used to make decisions. Or, the COVID-19 pandemic may be the trigger for them to complete the documents.  

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