What's top of mind for senior care operators in Ohio this year? Working smarter to achieve desired outcomes. And technology can help. As we illustrate in the infographic below, our customized software for senior care – primeVIEW and primeCLAIMS – can help with the top five priorities discussed at OHCA.
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Tired of reading documentation in long-paragraph format? We are too. That's why we put together easy-to-scan bullets and a printable infographic for the CDC's Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.
Why the change?
While it's safe to resume most pre-pandemic activities, even without a mask, the CDC believes:
- COVID-10 infections can still occur in a small proportion of fully vaccinated
- Fully vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant can spread it
- DO if you have tested positive in prior 10-days
- DO if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- DON'T after travel
- DO if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- DO at 3-5 days after exposure to suspected/confirmed COVID-19
- DON'T before/after domestic travel
- DON'T before international travel unless required by the destination
- DON'T as part of routine screening, if feasible
- DO wear it indoors in public in areas of substantial/high transmission
- CONSIDER it in public indoors, regardless of transmission rate and especially if household members are:
- At increased risk of severe disease
- DO follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.
Special Notes for Immunocompromised
- Seek medical counseling on the potential for reduced immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines
- Follow previous COVID-19 prevention measures (mask, 6-foot distancing, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces)
For more information, visit these CDC resources:
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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.
- Offer COVID-19 vaccines
- Educate on COVID-19 and document efforts
- 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
- COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring - World Health Organization (WHO)
- AHA’s Newest COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Resources Include Video, Webinar and Infographic - American Hospital Association (AHA)
- COVID-19 Vaccination in Long-Term Care: Safety, Efficacy, and Residents’ Rights - NursingHome411.org
- Vaccination for COVID-19 QuickPATH - Pathway Health
- Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe? - National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- 9 COVID-19 Myths Debunked - Cleveland Clinic
- Your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered - Mayo Clinic
- COVID-19 Vaccines: How Do We Know They Are Safe? - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources
- Tips for Building Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines Among Patients
- COVID-19 Vaccination Communication Toolkit
- COVID-19 Vaccination Training Programs and Reference Materials
- Importance of COVID-19 Vaccination for Healthcare Personnel
- Invest in Trust: A Guide for Building COVID-19 Vaccine Trust and Increasing Vaccination Rates Among CNAs- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
- Patient education: COVID-19 vaccines - UpToDate.com Doctor Team
- COVID-19 vaccines: Get the facts (Q&A) – Mayo Clinic
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.
Topics: primeVIEW CMS CMS compliance CMS reporting COVID-19
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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.
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!
Topics: COVID-19 vaccinations
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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
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.
Equip each nursing home facility with:
- Enhanced Infection Control Preventionist
- 24-Hour RN
- Minimum PPE Supply (30-day average conventional use)
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
- Improve surveys
- Address chronic poor performing facilities
- Monitoring customer satisfaction of residents and families
- Upgrade outdated HVAC
- Drive national study and funding to support a transition to private rooms
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.
Care for our senior act Resources
- Care for Our Seniors Act - Full Provisions
- Care for Our Seniors Press Release
- AHCA/NCAL Member Webinar Resources