AHCA/NCAL Updates Medicare 3-Day Stay and Benefit Period Waivers Fact Sheet and FAQs

AHCA/NCAL recently updated the COVID-19-related 3-Day Stay and Benefit-Period Waivers for Medicare Part A SNF PPS fact sheet and frequently asked questions (FAQ) resource. Key updates to the file consist of a notification that the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), which can be extended in 90-day increments, was recently extended through at least April 21, 2021. Additionally, a link to an AHCA/NCAL 45-minute webinar on these waivers and 11 new AHCA/NCAL-developed FAQs providing additional clarifications on common waiver-related questions submitted are included.
Examples of topics covered in the updated fact sheet and new FAQs include:
  • ​Will Medicare Part A cover asymptomatic beneficiaries that have a positive COVID-19 test result or have received the COVID-19 vaccine and have had a reaction?
  • Various waiver-related coverage and billing scenarios.
Providers are encouraged to review these updates and share with applicable clinical and billing staff.

Maximizing fit for cloth and medical procedure masks.

CDC conducted experiments to assess two ways of improving the fit of medical procedure masks: fitting a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask, and knotting the ear loops of a medical procedure mask and then tucking in and flattening the extra material close to the face. Each modification substantially improved source control and reduced wearer exposure.

Read more at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7007e1.htm?s_cid=mm7007e1_e

Information to arm you against vaccine hesitancy among older adults

As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out to assisted living and independent living communities — having not reached some of those communities yet — two new surveys shed some light on feelings about vaccination among older adults, messages that motivate them to get vaccinated, and the people and places to which they expect to turn when making a decision.

Although this research was not restricted to senior living residents, findings still may prove helpful to those working in the industry, and those they serve.

Find out more at https://bit.ly/3oLQAaS

Get Vaccinated Toolkit

AHCA/NCAL’s #GetVaccinated campaign encourages long term care staff and residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Providers and state affiliates may use the materials below to help communicate about the importance of vaccination as well as highlight progress. This digital toolkit includes a checklist of ideas, template letters to use with stakeholders, sample social media, and media prep material.

Find out more at https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Pages/GetVaccinated.aspx

CMS Issues New Nursing Facility COVID Testing FAQs

CMS has released FAQs related to new guidance on testing in nursing facilities. The FAQs address long-standing questions posed from providers. The questions address various issues including false negatives with point of care antigen tests, triggering of outbreak status, testing of emergency medical personnel and clarification on turnaround time for tests. The FAQs can be found here

Video: How Staff Can Stay Safe During the Holiday Season

In a new video for frontline long term care workers, AHCA/NCAL’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Gifford is joined by Dr. Shari Ling, Deputy Medical Director at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The two chat about ways staff members can help keep their residents, colleagues, family members and themselves safe during the holiday season by discussing some myths we’ve heard and offering the facts.

Trio of Webinars to Address Vital COVID Labor, Staffing, and Flu Issues

Long term and post-acute care providers can access a series of webinars this week on significant issues tied to both the COVID-19 pandemic and the traditional flu season, according to an update from the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL).

Find out more by going to http://www.providermagazine.com/news/Pages/2020/SEPTEMBER/Trio-of-Webinars-to-Address-Vital-COVID-Labor,-Staffing,-and-Flu-Issues-.aspx

Preparations for the Upcoming Flu Season

All eyes and resources in the long term care profession currently are focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, and rightfully so. This virus has spread through facilities like nothing seen before.
Unlike COVID-19, the flu season arrives like clockwork on a yearly basis. Unfortunately, in addition to the ongoing pandemic, flu season is looming just around the corner. Now more than ever, facilities need to be proactive in protecting their residents.
This article spotlights four areas for facilities to focus on for influenza prevention and control this fall, while also remaining in substantial compliance with the Focused Infection Control Survey from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.