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.

Targeted COVID-19 Training for Nursing Homes.

Nursing home providers can now participate in an “unprecedented” infection control training program designed to help them better manage COVID-19 in their facilities.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released details about the program Tuesday. The program was originally announced in late July as part of an additional $5 billion in coronavirus relief funding for nursing homes.

The program, which is available immediately to all Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes, is a tailored course that incorporates the most recent lessons learned by nursing homes during the ongoing pandemic. It also features best practices that frontline workers can implement to fight COVID-19 in their facilities, CMS Administrator Seema Verma explained during a press call Tuesday.

Read more at https://bit.ly/3llaby5

For more information or to register https://qsep.cms.gov/COVID-Training-Instructions.aspx

 

The pandemic has changed the ground rules for defining, measuring, and reimbursing quality.

While the COVID pandemic has changed much in post-acute and long term care, efforts to provide quality care and track outcomes, trends, and opportunities for improvement have continued unabated. Facilities didn’t swap quality measures for COVID care, they just added it to what they were already doing.
Yet the pandemic has put a spotlight on how quality is defined, measured, and reimbursed, and it has exposed what works and where changes are needed.
“It is crystal clear that our nursing home residents are a vulnerable population that should not be exposed to the risk of pandemic, either because they are sent to hospitals or emergency rooms [ERs] unnecessarily or because new patients with potential infections are allowed to come into a building that is not yet exposed to the infection,” says Rajeev Kumar, MD, CMD, FACP, chief medical officer at Symbria in Chicago.
“Hopefully, surveyors and CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] will work collaboratively with nursing facilities to minimize bad outcomes, rather than go on a witch hunt to find and use unfortunate outcomes to penalize nursing homes.”
Read more at

“Alarming Spike” in COVID-19 Cases Seen in SNFs.

A new report released today by the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) shows skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) experiencing an “alarming spike” in COVID-19 cases due to community spread among the general population. The findings are based on recent data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

http://www.providermagazine.com/news/Pages/2020/AUGUST/Community-Spread-Causes-Spike-in-new-COVID-19-Cases-in-Skilled-Nursing-Centers.aspx

High local COVID-19 rates put nursing homes at risk.

High county case rates and larger facility size are tied to COVID-19 outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities, according to a study from a leading operator.

Investigators from Genesis HealthCare, Brown University and Florida Atlantic University reviewed county, state and facility data from late April and early May. The study sample included 341 Genesis skilled nursing facilities in 25 states, along with more than 3,000 non-Genesis operators. Among Genesis facilities, 64 had implemented universal testing of all residents.

Researchers analyzed facility outbreaks, and (in the Genesis facilities only) the number of confirmed cases, fatalities and the effect of universal testing on case counts.

They found that higher facility bed count and COVID-19 prevalence in the surrounding county were the “most significant and consistent” predictors of large outbreaks and mortality rates among residents. In contrast, there was no consistent link between the likelihood of an outbreak and an operation’s Five-Star Quality Rating or infection control citations.

The results confirm the need for diagnostic testing access in high-risk areas, the investigators said. Federal resources should be allocated to locations where testing capacity remains limited, they added.

https://bit.ly/32LaNGw