3 min read

CMS to enforce COVID-19 vaccine education and reporting June 14

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Fri, May 28, 2021 @ 04:40 PM

As seen in McKnight's article, CMS: Educate, vaccinate and be ready to prove it, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will start enforcing their Interim Final Rule for COVID-19 Vaccination the week of June 14. Officially effective May 17, CMS is motivated to get staff vaccination rates up to 75 percent. Here's what's expected for both residents and staff.

  1. Offer COVID-19 vaccines
  2. Educate on COVID-19 and document efforts
  3. Report COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutic treatments each week to the National Health and Safety Network (NHSN) 

The data collected will also be posted on the agency’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Data website as soon as possible, likely in mid-June.

Said Evan Shulman, CMS’ director for its Division of Nursing Homes, "For starters, let’s remember that the intent of this is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible." He continued, "So, we will likely start prioritizing those individuals who are not vaccinated and start asking them how they were educated and if they were offered the vaccine.”

In other words, your first priority should be reporting who has received the vaccination, as those who aren't even achieving that goal are likely to be targeted first for audits. Next up, make meaningful attempts to educate residents and staff on vaccine safety – and track these efforts. Following are some educational resources that may be of help.

Webinars & Training

Videos

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources

Other Resources

In related news, long-term advocates encourage senior living caregivers to begin planning for the possibility of giving COVID-19 boosters. If you don't already have a good grip on vaccination tracking, know that technology can help. Our primeVIEW facility dashboard now has the ability to track which residents have received COVID-19 vaccinations.

Get in Touch

Topics: primeVIEW CMS CMS compliance CMS reporting COVID-19
1 min read

Achieving Staff Vaccine Goals for COVID-19 in Your Senior Care Homes

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Tue, May 18, 2021 @ 11:41 AM

In good news, the CDC says those vaccinated for COVID-19 do not need to wear masks – even indoors. If trading masks for the vaccine doesn't sway staff, you may wonder how others are driving vaccine acceptance.

A recent McKnight's article, Mandate staff vaccines or promote them with a $1K bonus? compares Jewish Senior Services' decision to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine to The Gardens at DePugh Nursing Center's offer of a $1000 bonus, which helped them achieve a 92% vaccination rate.

Adding to that, we've put together a summary of how other organizations are getting it done based on an article from Becker's Hospital Review, 15 employers, hospitals rewarding workers to get COVID-19 vaccines.

covid-19-vaccine-incentives-healthcare-2021

Additionally, take look at our previous infographic, 9 Tactics for COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance in Nursing Homes.

These tactics come at a good time, given CMS' release Tuesday of a new rule, asking requires long-term care facilities to report weekly COVID-19 vaccination data for residents and staff.  

For those of you using our primeVIEW KPI dashboard, you now have the ability to track COVID-19 vaccinations across residents. If you're not using primeVIEW, request a demo. Vaccinations aren't the only critical measurement it tracks!

Learn More

 

Topics: COVID-19 vaccinations
3 min read

A Quick Guide: The Care for Our Seniors Act

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Fri, Mar 19, 2021 @ 01:08 PM

AHCA/NCAL's participation in the Senate Finance Committee hearing, 'A National Tragedy: COVID-19 in the Nation’s Nursing Homes,' drew focus to the Care for Our Seniors Act, introduced in a press release and member webinar this past Monday.

In his testimonial, Chief Medical Officer David Gifford, MD, explained how reimbursement gaps between residents' cost of care and what providers are paid directly impact a nursing home's workforce. Workforce is just one of the four core areas for reform in the act.

Additional points made by Dr. Gifford to lawmakers included these:

  • The most meaningful way to improve care is by focusing on infection control and increasing workforce availability
  • Addressing poor nursing home care means incentivizing better care and increasing the number of staff at each bedside 
  • If nursing homes can't improve with appropriate assistance, they shouldn't continue to operate

Most importantly, he stressed that because LTC providers rely almost entirely on government reimbursement, their support is needed to make it happen. 

What is the Care for Our Seniors Act?

In short, AHCA/NCAL and LeadingAge are joining forces to help long-term care (LTC) providers reform in four major categories:

  • Clinical enhance the quality of care
  • Workforce strengthen and support frontline caregivers
  • Oversight improve systems to be more resident-driven
  • Structural modernize for resident dignity and safety

Why Now?

As evidenced by AHCA/NCAL's participation in the hearing, COVID-19 shone a light on long-standing challenges for LTC to include:

  • Workforce shortages
  • Aging physical plants
  • Underfunded government reimbursements

Now that the industry has our government's attention, the hope is that it will receive the funding needed to support these critical reform initiatives.

what Does reform really mean?

Upon securing government funding, AHCA/NCAL and LeadingAge hope to reform the LTC industry as explained below. 

Clinical Goals

Equip each nursing home facility with:

  • Enhanced Infection Control Preventionist 
  • 24-Hour RN
  • Minimum PPE Supply (30-day average conventional use)

Workforce Goals

Implement a multi-phase approach to supply, attract and retain facility workforces, including:

  • Student loan forgiveness and scholarships
  • Tax credits for licensed LTC health care workers
  • Housing and childcare assistance
  • National, LTC-targeted campaign to increase the supply of nurse faculty/RNs
  • Pathway for temporary nurse aides to become CNAs
  • End to CNA training ban
  • Expedited LPN-to-RN bridge programs

Oversight goals

  • Improve surveys
  • Address chronic poor performing facilities
  • Monitoring customer satisfaction of residents and families

Structural goals

  • Upgrade outdated HVAC
  • Drive national study and funding to support a transition to private rooms

What's Next

AHCA/NCAL and LeadingAge can continue to use opportunities like last week's Senate Finance Committee hearing to advocate. So, get ready for reform. Think about how changes in surveys and the addition of customer satisfaction to star ratings might change your world. If you don't have ready access to clinical, staffing and census data for monitoring performance, we can help. 

Meet primeVIEW

Request primeVIEW Demo

Care for our senior act Resources

 

Topics: primeVIEW COVID-19 Care for Our Seniors Act
2 min read

CMS Updates Nursing Home Visitation Guidance

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Sat, Mar 13, 2021 @ 10:00 AM

This week, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated nursing home guidance on visitation. With roughly 80% of residents and 55% of staff fully vaccinated1, they have okayed visitation unless nursing homes fall into these COVID-19 categories:

  • County positive is greater than 10% and less than 70% of residents vaccinated
  • There are confirmed resident infections
  • There are residents in quarantine

CMS also stressed the reminder to follow the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Control. Finally, CMS reiterated compassionate care visits should continue to be allowed under any circumstance.

What Constitutes Compassionate Care?

It is not just when a resident is in the last stages of life and can include situations where the resident is showing deterioration in mental health.

  • Resident was living with family before recent admission and struggling with the change.
  • Resident is grieving after a recently passed friend or family member.
  • Resident needs help and encouragement with eating or drinking and is experiencing weight loss or dehydration.
  • When a resident who used to talk to others, is experiencing emotional distress, seldom speaking, and crying frequently.

Just keep contact as limited as you can, and again, try to adhere to the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Control.

Resources to Assist Nursing Homes with Visitation

In case you missed them last week, again, here are resources to help:

Source: 1) NIC.org, Executive Survey - Wave 23 Summary of Insights and Findings (February 22 to March 7, 2021)
Topics: COVID-19 Visitation
2 min read

How is Vaccine Success Impacting Nursing Home Visits?

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Sun, Mar 07, 2021 @ 09:55 AM

With the majority of nursing home residents now vaccinated, families are naturally asking 'When can we visit?' Though CMS has not updated requirements since September, vaccinations now put nursing homes in a better position to meet them. 

CMS Requirements for Visitation

[With the exception of compassionate care visitation]

CMS further stipulated:

  • Visitors adhere to core principles with staff monitoring
  • Visitors are limited per resident and by facility size with recommendations:
    • Scheduled
    • Maximum must not exceed 20% facility residents
  • Visitor movement is limited and kept to designated spaces, with outdoor preferred

States Reopening This Week

These recommendations reconsidered, we've seen states like Delaware, Ohio, Michigan, New York and Tennessee opening nursing homes this week. Delaware's policies seemed carefully thought out and perhaps offer a good starting point for others.

New York also added the requirement of testing within 72-hours of visit for those in counties with a 5-10% positivity rate. CMS also encourages testing in this scenario, as well as among those who visit as often as weekly.

Pressures from AARP

AARP joins families in pressing for visitation decisions from nursing homes, asking facilities to provide clear, advanced guidance to loved ones. Further, they ask virtual visits to be made a priority. 

Resources to Assist Nursing Homes with Visitation

Understanding your plates remain full, we've collected the following resources as quick reference or help.

Topics: SNF COVID-19 Visitation Vaccination