Coronavirus

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are working with the federal government​​​ to ensure nursing hom​​es, assisted living communities, and intermediate care facilities for indiv​​iduals with intellectual disabilities receive necessary supplies and guidance to prevent the spread ​of this virus.​

Visit this website regularly for the latest information that AHCA/NCAL has to share with long term care providers about COVID-19. 


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How You Can Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

 Providers

Please note tha​t skilled nursing providers should consult the guidance put forth by CMS and the CDC, and assisted living communities should consult CDC guidance. Providers should also check their local and state health departments for updates and potentially stricter guidance, but these are general, national prevention and containment tips:

 
Infection Control: Maintain i​nfection control policies and procedures, updated where needed and increase transmission-based precautions.
 
Staff: #GetVaccinated! Regularly wash your hands and use PPE where appropriate. Stay home if you're sick.​ ​
 
Limit Interactions: Implement social distancing within the facility where possible to help prevent the spread of infection.
 
PPE: Regularly review federal and state guidance on appropriate use of masks, gowns, gloves, etc. and maintain your inventory​.
 
Communicate: Report suspected or confirmed cases to authorities. Keep residents, families and staff informed about your developing situation. Prepare for media inquiries.
 
Engagement: Follow government guidelines for safe in-person visitations, keep residents connected with loved ones remotely, and offer meaningful activities adapted for this situation​.


If a staff member shows symptoms of COVID-19: Have them go home immediately. 

If a resident shows symptoms of ​COVID-19​: Implement droplet precaution, and contact the local health department. ​


 Families

Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses a serious threat to older adults (especially 80 years old and older) and those with underlying health conditions. This is why in certain circumstances the federal government and many state governments are restricting visitors to nursing homes and assisted living communities. Adaptations (e.g., limited indoor and outdoor visits) and exceptions on a case-by-case basis (e.g., end-of-life or compassionate care visits) may be made. ​We understand this is difficult, but the safety and wellbeing of your loved one is our top priority.  

Here’s how you can continue to stay in touch with them, and how you can help: 

  • Communicate with your loved ones through alternative ways for the time being, whether by phone, video, social media, or other methods. Ask the facility about ways they can help with this.  
  • Make sure your loved one’s facility has your emergency contact information. The facility may need to communicate with you about any developments regarding your loved one or about the facility as a whole.
    • Many long term care facilities are only permitted to share information about a resident to a designated health representative. Work together as a family unit to share information to keep everyone informed.       
  • If you must come to the facility, coordinate with the staff ahead of time. Learn more about how you can prepare for a visit to a long term care facility
    • They may ask you some questions, take your temperature, have you take a COVID test, and/or make sure you’re wearing proper protective equipment (like a mask) when you arrive. This is to make sure you do not pose as a potential risk to residents and staff.  
    • If you are asked to not enter the building, please understand this is for the safety of your loved one and everyone else in the building. Nursing homes and assisted living communities are following direction from the government to prevent the spread of this virus.  
    • ​If you are permitted in, please wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately upon entering and throughout your visit. Wear a mask and any other protective equipment as directed by the facility. Avoid touching your loved ones or other individuals in the building. Again, we know this is difficult, but the virus is very contagious and social distancing is important at this time. ​
  • Do your part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. High community spread is linked to outbreaks in nursing homes. Follow the CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others. Get the COVID-19 vaccine, when you are eligible. 
  • ​Warn your loved ones about potential scammers during this crisis and encourage them to be cautious.​

 Residents

Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses a serious threat to older adults (especially 80 years old and older) and those with underlying health conditions. This is why in certain circumstances the federal government and many state governments are restricting visitors to nursing homes and assisted living communities. We understand this is a difficult and stressful time. Those who work in long term care facilities are focused on your safety and wellbeing.  

Here’s how you can continue to stay in touch with your loved ones, and how you can help: 

  • Ask the facility about other ways you can communicate with your loved ones, whether by phone, video or social media.  
  • If you haven't already, get the COVID-19 vaccine. Your facility is working with a pharmacy or state/local officials to offer vaccinations​ and can provide more specific information about how and when this will work. 
  • Follow everyday preventive actions such as: 
    • ​Washing your hands or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers 
    • Covering your cough and sneezes ​
    • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth 
    • Keeping 6-feet distance from other residents and staff (when possible) 
  • ​Ask other individuals (including staff) to avoid touching you with handshakes, hugs or kisses. Ask them to wash their hands. Do not be shy! It’s okay to remind people.
  • Watch out for potential scammers​ during this crisis. 
  • If you begin to experience difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell​, tell a staff member immediately.​

 

 

AHCA/NCAL Requests Extension Of Public Health Emergencyhttps://publish.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/AHCANCAL-Requests-Extension-Of-Public-Health-Emergency-.aspxAHCA/NCAL Requests Extension Of Public Health Emergency8/9/2022 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div><span style="font-size:14.6667px;"><strong>WASHINGTON, D.C. – </strong>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, requesting an extension of the Public Health Emergency (PHE). With new COVID-19 variants emerging and flu season approaching, extending the PHE will ensure that long term care facilities have the necessary resources to continue providing quality care to our nation’s seniors. In addition, as the pandemic continues to evolve, AHCA/NCAL asked that HHS update its COVID-19 guidance for health care settings. </span></div><div><span style="font-size:14.6667px;"> </span></div><div><span style="font-size:14.6667px;">Read the full letter <a href="/News-and-Communications/Fact-Sheets/Letters/AHCA-NCAL-Letter-HHS-Aug2022.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">HERE</a>.</span></div><div><br></div>AHCA/NCAL sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, requesting an extension of the Public Health Emergency.
CDC Program Expands Free COVID-19 Testing to Assisted Livinghttps://publish.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/CDC-Program-Expands-Free-COVID-19-Testing-to-Assisted-Living.aspxCDC Program Expands Free COVID-19 Testing to Assisted Living8/3/2022 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div>Assisted living centers now have access to free COVID-19 testing for their staff and residents through December 31, 2022. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Operation Expanded Testing (OpET) program expanded access to free testing nationwide to now include assisted living communities, which previously targeted schools, shelters, and correctional facilities.</div><div><br></div><div>Testing under OpET is available at no-cost to providers and can be used on staff or residents. You can receive up to a four-week supply at a time, and there is no cap on the number of tests that can be used in this program.   </div><div><br></div><div><strong>How it Works: </strong></div><div>OpET coordinates with four regional coordination hubs to provide pooled PCR tests (i.e., laboratory-based Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests [<a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/naats.html" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">NAAT</a>]), with specimen collection supplies, shipping materials, laboratory testing, and results reporting. The provider must contribute staff to collect specimens.<br><br></div><div><strong>How to Enroll:</strong></div><div>To enroll your assisted living into OpET’s no-cost <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/resources/sars-cov2-testing-strategies.html#anchor_1615061492602" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">screening testing</a> program:</div><div><ol><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">​Identify your facility’s region and coordination hub.</span></li><li>Visit your regional coordination hub’s website.</li><ol><li>​<a href="https://letsendthistogether.com/" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Hub 1 – West:</a> Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Marshall Islands, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Palau, and Washington</li><li><a href="https://testedandprotected.org/#/" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Hub 2 – Midwest:</a> Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming</li><li><a href="https://operationexpandedtesting.com/" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Hub 3 – Northeast:</a> Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia</li><li><a href="https://operationexpandedtesting.com/" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Hub 4 – South:</a> Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas</li></ol><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">​</span><span style="font-size:11pt;"><strong>Enroll</strong> your assisted living community. </span><br></li></ol></div><div>Visit the Operation Expanded Testing <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/operation-expanded-testing.html#questions" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">website</a> to learn more.<br><br></div>Assisted living centers now have access to free COVID-19 testing for their staff and residents through December 31, 2022.
Provider Relief Fund Remindershttps://publish.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Provider-Relief-Fund-Updates.aspxProvider Relief Fund Reminders8/2/2022 4:00:00 AM<p>​<br></p><div><strong>Phase 4 and ARP Rural Distributions - Payment Status </strong></div><div><br></div><div>Approximately $14.5 billion of Phase 4 Payments has been distributed to more than 89,000 providers and 98 percent of applications have been processed. To date, more than $8 billion has been distributed through ARP Rural Payments and 99% of applications have been processed.   </div><div><br></div><div>For the applications pending review, HRSA continues to make payments on a rolling basis every few weeks. Please continue to check the Provider Support Line at 866-569-3522; for TTY, dial 711 for status updates.   </div><div><br></div><div>Providers should be aware that payment notifications are sent from the email address <a href="mailto:UHG_HRSA@ProviderEmail.uhc.com" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">UHG_HRSA@ProviderEmail.uhc.com</a>. Providers are advised to add this address to their “Safe Sender” list and check their “Spam” and “Junk Mail” folders regularly to ensure that they do not miss payment notifications or related correspondence. </div><div><br></div><div>Providers are also encouraged to check the status of their Optum Account by calling the Optum Pay Support line at 877-620-6194 to make sure the account is “active” and ready to receive payment. </div><div><br></div><div><strong>Provider Relief Fund Reporting Period 3 Reminder  </strong></div><div><br></div><div>Reporting Period 3 (RP3) is open as of July 1, 2022. The deadline to use funds for payment RP3 was June 30, 2022. </div><div><br></div><div>Providers who received Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate between January 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021, are required to report in RP3. <strong>The deadline for providers to submit a report is September 30, 2022, at 11:59 PM ET.  </strong></div><div><br></div><div>Reports must be submitted via the <a href="https://prfreporting.hrsa.gov/s/" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">PRF reporting portal</a>. <strong>Providers who do not submit a completed report by the deadline will be subject to further enforcement actions. </strong></div><div><br></div><div><strong>Reporting Help </strong></div><div><br></div><div>Providers may visit the <a href="https://akastage-www.hrsa.gov/provider-relief/reporting-auditing" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">PRF Reporting Requirements and Auditing Webpage</a> and view the below technical assistance webcasts for assistance with their reports: </div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>​New Reporters: <a href="https://webex.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1552987&tp_key=ee363985c5" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Webinar Recording (July 12, 2022)</a><br></li><li>Returning Reporters: <a href="https://webex.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1554075&tp_key=9395e2ad01" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Webinar Recordin​g (July 13, 202</a>2)<br></li><li><a href="https://webex.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1529271&tp_key=32b18c2773" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Nursing Home Infection Control Reporting Webcast (February 17, 2022)​</a>  </li></ul></div><div><br></div><div><strong>Upcoming reporting periods: </strong></div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>Reporting Period 4 opens on January 1, 2023 </li><li><span style="font-size:11pt;">Reporting Period 5 opens on July 1, 2023 </span></li></ul></div><div><br><strong></strong><strong>Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances </strong></div><div><br></div><div>Providers who experienced one or more extenuating circumstances that prevented them from submitting a completed PRF Report in Reporting Periods 1 and/or 2 (RP1 and RP2) by the deadline had the opportunity to submit a Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstance. <strong>The opportunities to submit late reports for RP1 and RP2 have passed. </strong></div><div><br></div><div>Providers who did not submit an RP1 report by the deadline and returned funds prior to HRSA announcing the Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances process have a one-time opportunity to have their RP1 PRF payment(s) reissued. <strong>The projected window for report submissions is August 22 to September 9, 2022. </strong></div><div><br></div><div>Review the Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances <a href="https://www.hrsa.gov/provider-relief/reporting-auditing/late-reporting-requests" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">webpage</a> for more details on this new process. </div><div><br></div><div><strong>Need Reporting Help? </strong></div><div><br></div><div>Answers to common questions related to reporting requirements and auditing. Read the <a href="https://www.hrsa.gov/provider-relief/faq/reporting" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Reporting and Auditing FAQ</a>. </div><div><br></div><div>For all other questions related to reporting, call the Provider Support Line at 866-569-3522; for TTY, dial 711. The hours of operation are 8:00 AM to 10 PM CT, Monday through Friday. Hours are subject to change. ​<br></div>Approximately $14.5 billion of Phase 4 Payments has been distributed to more than 89,000 providers and 98 percent of applications have been processed.
Register for the Basics of Effective COVID Infection Prevention Coursehttps://publish.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Register-for-the-Basics-of-Effective-COVID-Infection-Prevention-Course.aspxRegister for the Basics of Effective COVID Infection Prevention Course8/2/2022 4:00:00 AM<p><em></em><span style="font-size:11pt;"><em>ahcancalED</em> offers a 50-minute training on the basics of effective infection prevention and control suitable for all levels of staff members in skilled nursing, assisted living, and ID/DD facilities.  </span><br></p><div><br></div><div><a href="https://educate.ahcancal.org/BasicsofIPPostCOVID" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">Basics of Infection Prevention & Control in the Post-COVID-19 World</a>  </div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>​Describes what COVID-19 is, how it spreads and who is most at risk </li><li>Identifies the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and other variants </li><li>Explains staff members’ roles in reporting suspicions of respiratory illnesses </li><li>Discusses key considerations for “return to work”  </li><li>Reviews the universal basics of essential infection prevention and control practices </li><li>Addresses common PPE and handwashing errors </li></ul></div><div><br></div><div>This course is a vital tool in a comprehensive infection prevention and control program. <strong>No CEs are offered with this course.  </strong></div><div><br></div><div><ul><li>​Individual Course Fees: $25 for AHCA/NCAL members and $65 for non-members. </li><li>AHCA/NCAL Member Only One-Year Facility Subscription Fee: $500 <em>(Facilities will use one individual's login to access the material throughout the year that may viewed individually or in small groups as part of staff in-service trainings.)    </em></li></ul></div><div><br></div><div>Individuals will need to login to <em>ahcancalED</em> with their AHCA/NCAL usernames and passwords to <a href="https://educate.ahcancal.org/BasicsofIPPostCOVID" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">register​</a>. For assistance obtaining usernames and passwords, members should e-mail <a href="mailto:educate@ahca.org" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">educate@ahca.org</a> with their name and facility contact information.<br></div>ahcancalED offers a 50-minute training on the basics of effective infection prevention and control suitable for all levels of staff members in skilled nursing, assisted living, and ID/DD facilities.

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