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COVID-19: Updates and Resources

In addition to special alerts with critical late-breaking updates, we will continue to update our blog as new information becomes available.  We encourage you to bookmark this page https://www.leadingagecolorado.org/leadingage-colorado-blog and check back often for updates from both state and local authorities.

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 8

 

Colorado Case Summary

 

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/6 and does not reflect cases since then.  

 

5,429 cases*
1,079 hospitalized
54 counties
28,094 people tested**
179 deaths 
44 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

 

Mental Health and Substance Use Services Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

The Department of Human Services – Office of Behavioral Health works closely with providers to continue mental health and substance use services during the COVID-19 emergency while following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended steps to keep patients safe. For more information or to find a provider, visit their website.

 

FREE COVID-19 Learning Tool
NextStep is offering an informal online course designed to improve the safety of caregivers of all kinds working with COVID-19 patients in all settings. The COVID-Ready Caregiver program uses expert-developed online learning to help develop safety skills during the pandemic.

 

The program is NOT a formal certification—but it can be used to complement additional training. It can also be used by caregivers, housekeeping, and dietary teams, or any staff at independent living, HCBS, adult day, PACE, affordable housing, or other settings, as well as by family caregivers at home.

 

Staff at LeadingAge members can access the course at no cost through April 17. Use code COVIDCERTNOW at check-out.

 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 7

Colorado Case Summary
Note: This summary only includes data through 4/5 and does not reflect cases since then.  

5,172 cases*
994 hospitalized
54 counties
26,875 people tested**
150 deaths 
41 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

CDPHE – Checklist for Long-term Care Facilities

The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Long Term Care Facility Mitigation Work Group, located within the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) has developed a COVID-19 preparation and rapid response checklist for long term care facilities. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommends using the checklist to help slow the spread of COVID-19. (April 7)

Telligen – QIO Education for Nursing Facilities

This interactive session on April 9 at 1:30 MT will feature special guest speakers, Dr. Joseph G. Ouslander and Dr. William Russell. Dr. Ouslander and Dr. Russell will review the below publications and will share key updates, actionable guidance, and resources to assist providers in their COVID-19 prevention and preparedness efforts. 

·    Coronavirus-19 in Geriatrics and Long-Term Care: An Update

·    Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Geriatrics and Long‐term Care: The ABCDs of COVID‐19


 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 6

Colorado Case Summary

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/4 and does not reflect cases since then.  

4,950 cases*
924 hospitalized
54 counties
25,773 people tested
140 deaths 
37 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

HCPF Operational Memo – Nursing homes, PACE, HCBS Providers

Operational Memo - Updated Case Management Operational Changes in response to COVID-19 (April 6, 2020): The purpose of this Operational Memo is to inform Case Management Agencies (CMAs) of modifications to the temporary operational changes for face-to-face member contact and assessment authorizations. (April 6)

CDC: Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission

HCPF Frequently Asked Questions for HCBS Providers

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions For HCBS Providers section has been created with drop-down sections on Billing, Telehealth & Telemedicine and Case Management. (April 3)


 

 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 3

Colorado Case Summary

3,728 cases
710 hospitalized
51 counties
20,411 people tested (Correction 4/2)
97 deaths 
21 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/1 and does not reflect cases since then.  

Transfer and Discharge

Yesterday, LeadingAge Colorado, the Colorado Hospital Association, the Colorado Health Care Association, and the Colorado Medical Directors Association jointly released the a letter, transfer form for use when discharging hospital inpatients to long-term care facilities and guidance from the American Health Care Association related to nursing homes accepting hospital transfers during the pandemic. (April 2)

 

New CDC postings

 

Assisted living/nursing home webinarCDC posted a webinar yesterday, “Preparing Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities for COVID-19,” describing actions people in these two settings can take to protect staff and residents from infection.

 

How to disinfect a work siteCDC posted “Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Worksite” yesterday.  It includes information about cleaning and disinfecting a building or facility if someone is sick

 

U.S. Small Business Administration – Paycheck Protection Program

 

CDPHE Telemedicine Guidance for health care facilities and providers

 

With the recent Presidential order, all direct visit requirements contained in the SOMs, ROPs and COPs related to physicians and other professionals may now be conducted via telemedicine, telehealth, virtual check-ins and e-visits. Click here for more information from CDPHE. (April 1)

 

order on March 17th,

 

NEW CMS guidance for nursing homes

 

Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued critical recommendations to state and local governments, as well as nursing homes, to help mitigate the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in nursing homes. The recommendations build on and strengthen recent guidance from CMS and CDC related to effective implementation of longstanding infection control procedures. (April 3)


 

 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 2

Colorado Case Summary:

3,342 cases
620 hospitalized
50 counties
18,645 people tested
80 deaths 
17 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

 

Note: This summary only includes data through 3/31 and does not reflect cases since then.  

 

Funds for Small Businesses

 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed on March 27 provided about $2 trillion in federal dollars in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. About $350 billion of these funds are directed to provide loans to small businesses, with opportunity for loan recipients to receive forgiveness and not have to repay the amount borrowed. On April 3, small entities including smaller 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations will be able to access these funds. These dollars could be used to support adult day and other aging services providers. On March 31, the U.S. Department of Treasury issued guidance for potential borrowers and for lenders. (March 31)

 

Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing: COVID-19 Emergency Waiver Update

 

HCPF Operational Memos

 

PASSR, Non-medical transportation and Telemedicine for NHs, ACFs

 

The purpose of this Operational Memo is to inform Pre-Admission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) stakeholders of temporary changes to the PASRR process: 

 

Telemedicine in Nursing Facilities, Alternative Care Facilities, and Intermediate Care Facilities for COVID-19 (April 1, 2020): The purpose of this Operational Memo is to inform Nursing Facilities, Alternative Care Facilities, Intermediate Care Facilities, and medical professionals of operational instructions to use telemedicine.

 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 1

CDPHE releases further guidance to long-term care facilities

The document provide guidance to long-term care facilities (LTCFs) when a resident or healthcare personnel is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 and to provide recommendations to prevent transmission within the facility. These recommendations are specific for nursing homes, including skilled nursing facilities. Much of this information could also be applied in assisted living facilities. Guidance provided in the document is based on currently available information at the time it was drafted and is subject to change. (March 27)

DORA – Health Care Professional Licensing

In response to the COVID-19 developments and directives given by Governor Polis, the Division of Professions and Occupations under the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is expediting licensing to increase workforce capacity to address this emergency. This includes the temporary suspension of the application of laws, rules and policies that will allow the State to expand its testing capacity for Coronavirus and ensure ongoing business continuity in the delivery of healthcare services. (March 18)

CMS Waivers

Last night, CMS put out a package of significant regulatory changes to help the U.S. health care system address the COVID-19 patient surge. The release reflects a huge advocacy win for LeadingAge members. Listening to members and working with state associations, LeadingAge pushed for nursing home, hospice, and home health waivers, which were granted. (March 30)

Department of Labor – Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Guidance

On March 28, the Department of Labor released updated questions and answers regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law March 18. The guidance provides an exemption for all senior living workers from expanded leave requirements. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act expands leave for employers with fewer than 500 employees, effective from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Leave is available for a number of COVID-19 related reasons, including employees caring for a child whose school or place of care was closed for reasons related to COVID-19. Certain workers are exempt from these provisions.

The guidance clarifies the definition of “Health Care Provider” for the purpose of employees who may be exempted from the expanded leave provisions to include “anyone employed at any … retirement facility … or any similar institution.” The guidance specifically states:

Who is a “health care provider” who may be excluded by their employer from paid sick leave and/or expanded family and medical leave?

For the purposes of employees who may be exempted from paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave by their employer under the FFCRA, a health care provider is anyone employed at any doctor’s office, hospital, health care center, clinic, post-secondary educational institution offering health care instruction, medical school, local health department or agency, nursing facility, retirement facility, nursing home, home health care provider, any facility that performs laboratory or medical testing, pharmacy, or any similar institution, employer, or entity. This includes any permanent or temporary institution, facility, location, or site where medical services are provided that are similar to such institutions. 

Non-profit FEMA Grant Assistance

FEMA announced that federal emergency aid has been made available for the state of Colorado to supplement the state, tribes and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on Jan. 20, 2020 and continuing.

501c3 Health Care Institutions are eligible for FEMA recovery grant assistance in response to COVID-19. 

Costs potentially eligible for reimbursement include: 
• Labor / supply costs for mass care operations 
• Measures taken to protect patients and staff 
• Overtime paid to employees caring for COVID – 19 patients 
• Costs of PPE associated with COVID - 19 
• Costs for contractors performing emergency protective work 
• Other costs the hospital would not normally incur during regular operations 
• Costs associated with isolation of employees exposed to COVID – 19 during patient care 

Tidal Basin, a national firm providing FEMA recovery grant assistance management hosted a webinar detailing the program for LeadingAge Texas, but the information is useful for members across the country.

State of Colorado Critical Business Self Certification

As local communities consider COVID-19-related restrictions, the State of Colorado is offering this document to help identify businesses and employees who support critical infrastructure sectors and the critical flow and transportation of goods and services.

Gov. Polis: Suspension of personal appearance for notarizations

To address the issue of notarizing and executing legal documents during this time of social distancing, on Friday, Governor Polis issued Executive Order D 2020 019, suspending the personal appearance requirement for notarizations. On Monday, the Secretary of State issued emergency, temporary rule 8 CCR 1505-11. Both were effective upon execution.

 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from March 27

Governor Polis’ Executive Order: Ordering Coloradans to Stay at Home Due to the Presence of COVID-19 in the State (March 25)

HCPFOperational Memo - Instructions for Nursing Facility Claims when 5615s are Unavailable due to COVID-19 (March 27, 2020): The purpose of this Operational Memo is to inform Nursing Facilities (NF) and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IID) of temporary operational instructions for acceptable billing practices related to delays in receipt of 5615 forms from eligibility sites during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Family Medical Leave provisions under the second stimulus bill have been a significant source of questions for members. LeadingAge prepared an FAQ on New Paid Sick Leave and FMLA Leave in the Families First Response Act (FFCRA) to help. (March 27)

The USPS will be offering communities three options for mail delivery if there are issues with the current delivery of mail. (March 27)

LeadingAge: Infection Control - COVID 19 Tool and Checklist for the COVID-19 Nursing Home Survey (March 27)

CDC Guidance:  Discontinuation of Transmission-Based Precautions of Patients with COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings (Interim Guidance).” (March 25)

Personal Protective Equipment

3M Technical BulletinRespiratory Protection for Airborne Exposure to Biohazards

  • Lists alternatives in Table A;
  • Explains the difference between masks and respirators;
  • Provides specifications for common microorganisms in Table B;
  • Notes that while respirators reduce exposure, they don’t eliminate exposure.

Interim guidance from CDC “Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks”

Notice from OSHA that DOL is temporarily waiving respirator fit test requirements under crisis conditions.

A website to help healthcare workers solicit donations of PPEGetUsPPE.org/request


 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from March 25

NextFifty Initiative: COVID-19 Response Fund

NextFifty Initiative’s COVID-19 Response Fund will offer general operating support for Colorado 501(c)(3) nonprofits whose work primarily benefits older adults (those 50+) and any 501(c)(3) organization who has previously received funding from NextFifty Initiative in any state.

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment: CDLE has a variety of resources for workers and resources for employers who are impacted by the Coronavirus.

 


 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from March 24

Memo QSO-20-20-ALL released by CMS on March 23 highlights further suspension and re-prioritization of surveys for nursing homes, as well as new guidance for non-nursing home settings on visitors and screening, and access to all settings for health care providers. It also includes a streamlined Infection Control survey tool. (March 23)

CDPHE Letter to assisted living facilities and nursing homes further clarifying the public order restricting visitors. (March 23)

CDPHE Directives and Guidance document for assisted living facilities regarding COVID-19. (March 23)


 

 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from March 23

CDC: Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Retirement Communities and Independent Living Facilities (Interim Guidance). This guidance is for owners, administrators, operators, workers, volunteers, visitors, and residents of retirement communities and independent living facilities that are not healthcare facilities. (March 23)

CMS COVID-19 Call with PACE organizations tomorrow. CMS will host a call for PACE organizations and state officials tomorrow (March 24 at 4 p.m. eastern time) to review guidance from CMS and CDC, discuss recent developments, and take questions.  Here’s the webex link:  https://letsmeet.webex.com/letsmeet/onstage/g.php?MTID=eb02e19036c7bf600d451e7f71589e44a

For LeadingAge Affordable Housing members: Sample Guidance, Policies, and Flyers for Affordable Housing (March 23)

HCPF: Informational webinars for all types of Medicaid long-term care providers and case management agencies

All webinars are scheduled for Friday, March 27 and for Friday, April 3. All will be recorded and posted on the Department's COVID-19 webpage, under "For Providers and Case Managers." 


 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from March 20

Small Business Administration Loans Available to Support Providers through COVID-19 Pandemic


 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from March 19

Congress

Summary of the recently signed Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

CDC

CDC posted “Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE.”  The document covers facemasks, N95 respirators, gowns, and eye protection. For each of these items, it addresses the user audience, the purpose of the document (to optimize supply in a shortage), conventional capacity strategies, and strategies for various levels of shortages:  contingency capacity, crisis capacity, and when none are available.

New CDC Webinar & Guidance for LTC Available (March 17)

On March 17, the CDC held a clinician outreach and communication activity (COCA) webinar for long-term care facilities including SNF, LTC, and AL related to infection prevention and control guidance, steps facilities should be taking, management and treatment of COVID-19 and available resources. Click here to read detailed notes from the webinar. The recording of the call and the webinar slides are available here.  

HCPF

HCPF’s new provider update on telemedicine: Temporary Authorization of Telemedicine Services During COVID-19 State of Emergency

CDPHE

You can find the Health Facilities and EMS blog here where all recent communications are being collated. CDPHE codes each blog by provider type. I want to reiterate, the most important thing you can do right now is follow the basic infection control procedures of social distancing (6 feet) and good hygiene practices (hand washing, etc.). Visit the CDPHE COVID-19 website and the COVID-19 Guidance Specific to Healthcare . HFEMS Division contact for temporary licensed facility closures is [email protected]

Housing

HUD COVID-19 Call. Late yesterday HUD held its first COVID-19 call for housing providers.

LeadingAge Urges Congress for COVID-19 Affordable Housing Relief and Resources 

LeadingAge Affordable Housing Resources


 

 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from March 18

Child Care Assistance: Governor Polis has established a group of early childhood providers, advocacy groups, school districts and foundations to partner with the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) to establish a system of emergency child care for our most essential workers: https://covidchildcarecolorado.com/

PACECMS memo to PACE providers on COVID-19


 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from March 17

CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) has a dedicated webpage for COVID-19 that includes updates on the current situation, information about the virus and guidance for health professionals.  This website will be updated frequently, and we encourage you to reference it for information and support. The Health Facilities Community blog is also a good source of information.

Communal Dining – Guidance for communal dining in long-term care facilities, including assisted living, supported by CDPHE to comply with CMS guidance (March 16)

Memo from the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing on changes to the Pre-Admission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) process due to COVID-19 (March 13)

Medicare telehealth benefits expanded for beneficiaries (March 17)


 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from March 16:

COVID-19 Prevention and Preparedness in LTC webinar hosted by Telligen
Telligen, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Colorado, Iowa, Illinois and Oklahoma, will be hosting a webinar and question & answer session for nursing home providers during which we will share practical, simple and understandable information about COVID-19. This webinar will be interactive and will provide nursing home personnel and infection preventionists the opportunity to share challenges and ask questions in regards to implementing current guidance. In addition, there will be an opportunity for participants to share their approaches and current state of preparedness.

CMS

Recently released updated guidance for nursing facilities restrictions on visitors which should crosswalk to ALRs/ACFs for the most part, according to CDPHE.

HCPF

Informational Memo- COVID-19 Communication for Adult Day, Day Habilitation and Brain Injury Day Treatment Providers (March 15, 2020): The purpose of this Informational Memo is to inform home and community-based services (HCBS) Day Program Service Providers and Case Management Agencies of temporary and optional changes to the provision and reimbursement of day services during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition, there are a list of actions members and providers can take to help prevent COVID-19 from entering and spreading in a residence or provider setting. All recommendations in this document are based on guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).


 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from March 13:

In addition to special alerts with critical late-breaking updates, we will continue to update our blog as new information becomes available.  We encourage you to bookmark this page https://www.leadingagecolorado.org/leadingage-colorado-blog and check back often for updates from both state and local authorities.

CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) has a dedicated webpage for COVID-19 that includes updates on the current situation, information about the virus and guidance for health professionals.  This website will be updated frequently, and we encourage you to reference it for information and support. 

Governor Polis Public Health Order – Screening and limitations and restrictions on visitors.

State Labor Department

Emergency rules on paid sick leave for COVID-19 – rules requiring employers in certain industries to provide a small amount of paid sick leave to employees with flu-like symptoms while awaiting COVID-19 testing

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

  • Detailed guidance to all provider types about COVID-19
  • Suspension of Survey Activities - provides important detail with respect to the temporary focus of surveys on infection control and other emergent issues.
  • Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention Concerning Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): FAQs and Considerations for Patient Triage, Placement and Hospital Discharge.
  • Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in nursing homes – this includes revised guidance for visitation.

Additional COVID-19 Resources

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