Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

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 May 20

Colorado Case Summary

22,482 Cases
3,955 hospitalized
1,257 deaths, 968 due to COVID-19
240 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by the facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above. 

State plans to begin testing nursing home and assisted living employees and residents

On a call with stakeholders, leaders of the state’s residential strike force explained their approach for testing of staff and residents in nursing homes and assisted living across Colorado. Initial testing efforts will be focused on large (100 or more residents) nursing facilities and assisted living residences. There will be baseline testing and then on a weekly basis for at least eight weeks. Facilities should expect a call first, asking about COVID-19 status, PPE, staffing and the capability of staff to conduct tests. More information will be forthcoming.


 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from May 19

Colorado Case Summary

22,202 Cases
3,899 hospitalized
1,224 deaths
228 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by the facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above. 

Gov. Polis Testing Announcement

Today, Governor Polis visited a STRIDE Community Health Center in Wheat Ridge to announce that Colorado now has the supplies, the testing sites, and the capacity to test anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, as well as all health care workers, all senior care facility workers, all first responders, and all essential workers who directly interact with the public while working, whether or not those individuals have symptoms or not. The governor’s office is targeting large assisted living facilities and nursing homes with no known cases of COVID-19 for testing of employees and residents.

CMS Guidance on phased reopening for nursing homes

Yesterday, CMS issued a memo, which is analyzed here: CMS’s Phased Reopening Guidance for Nursing Homes. The guidance for reopening nursing homes follows the phases of the White House’s Opening Up America Again and includes a recommendation that nursing homes plan for a baseline test of every resident and staff member with additional testing thereafter.


 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from May 18

Colorado Case Summary

21,938 cases
3,872 hospitalized
1,215 deaths 
223 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above 

CDPHE Checklist for Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Residences

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has updated the COVID-19 Preparation and Rapid Response: Checklist for Long-Term Care Facilities (LCTFs) document. That guidance can be found here: Checklist for Long-Term Care Facilities.

CDC Memory Care Guidance

The CDC has a section on “Considerations for Memory Care Units” within its long-term care guidance that addresses basics of infection control and handling suspected cases. 


 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from May 15

Colorado Case Summary

20,838 cases
3,789 hospitalized
1,091 deaths 
208 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above 

HCPF announces training for HCBS providers

Informational Memo - Incident Management and Prevention Strategies Training (May 13, 2020): The purpose of this Informational Memo is to provide notice to all Case Management Agencies and Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Provider Agencies of an upcoming training developed by the Department entitled "Incident Management and Prevention Strategies". 

CMS State Toolkit – Nursing Homes

CMS issued a Toolkit on State Actions to Mitigate COVID-19 Prevalence in Nursing Homes

Resources for providing services to memory care residents during the pandemic

  • CDPHE: Strategies to consider when working with memory care residents. Specifically, the document provides guidelines on staff and resident movement, including designating staff to certain units, dining alternatives, suggested activities and maintaining social distancing. 
  • CDC Guidance on Memory Care: CDC released new guidance on COVID-19 considerations for memory care. This information and guidance can be useful for work with all residents with cognitive impairments, regardless of the level of care or placement on a designated memory care unit. While much of this information is standard practice for working with those with cognitive impairments, one interesting recommendation is that CDC recommends that staff working on a memory care unit wear eye protection and N95 respirators at all times when on the unit to minimize risk of exposure from ill, wandering residents. CDC also recommends maintaining consistency in staff, activities, and environments as much as possible, including continuing to allow safe physical activity such as walking the unit or walks outdoors. 

Argentum Launches Grassroots Advocacy Campaign, Standing with Seniors

Argentum recently launched its grassroots advocacy campaign, Standing With Seniors, to encourage residents, family members, community staff, and other advocates to join us in our efforts to prioritize senior living in the federal response to COVID-19. The goal is for 500,000 letters to be sent to Congress. With Congress expected to act soon on its fourth major legislative package, following up the $2.2 trillion CARES Act and supplemental funding, it’s critically important that lawmakers hear from senior living advocates now. Please take a moment to send your federal legislators a note on the urgent need to prioritize senior living in the COVID-19 response. Check out Argentum's pre-written letters, and send a letter today!


COVID-19: Updates and Resources from May 13

Colorado Case Summary

20,157 cases
3,695 hospitalized
1,009 deaths 
199 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above

HCPF Operational Memo on Day Program Service Operations Under COVID-19 Safer at Home Order

The purpose of this Operational Memo is to inform Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Day Program Service Providers and Case Management Agencies of required provisions in the resumption of Day Program Services in a congregate setting. These provisions are applicable to the following services:

  • Adult Day Services
  • Day Habilitation
  • Day Treatment for the Brain Injury Waiver
  • Prevocational Services
  • Supported Employment – Group

Effective May 11, 2020 adult day providers that believe it is necessary to meet the needs of their members may begin to provide services if the member is not part of the vulnerable population. 

“Vulnerable” individuals includes those:

  • Who are 65 years and older
  • With chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • Who have serious heart conditions
  • Who are immunocompromised
  • Pregnant
  • Determined to be high risk by a licensed healthcare provider are considered vulnerable under Executive Order D 2020 044.
  • Additionally, if a member resides in a home with an individual considered vulnerable, it is strongly recommended the member not attend. 

Required provisions for the resumption of services include:

  • There cannot be more than 10 people in the setting at a time including members and staff
  • Six feet social distancing at all times
  • Staff and members must wear face mask at all times
  • Members must be able to get to the setting safely and if using NMT there can only be one individual in the vehicle and must follow previous guidance issued by HCPF
  • Provider must conduct health screen of members and staff before entry
  • Provider must follow all sanitization and infection control guidance issued by CDC, CDPHE and CMS. 

HCPF Memo: Targeted Case Management -Transition Coordination for Transition Coordination Activities

This memo informs Transition Coordination Agencies of temporary changes specific to targeted case management transition coordination and how to maintain program eligibility for all members enrolled on March 18 through the end of the public health emergency.  It covers guidance on how to complete community needs assessments and risk mitigation plans, housing voucher process and navigation collaboration activities, facility discharge collaboration and post discharge monitoring. 

Now Available: COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfecting Webinar Recording & Handouts

As reported previously, HUD and the CDC delivered presentations on their interim guidance on facility cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19. The recorded webinar and handouts, which are helpful to any housing setting and staff, is now available.   

The guidelines, which focus on common areas in housing settings where the COVID‐19 disease may be present, can be accessed via one the links below:

HEROES Act Federal Relief bill

House Democrats have released their draft of a $3 trillion relief package. The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act or the HEROES Act proposal includes many of LeadingAge’s  requests or elements that address our asks in part.  

For HUD, the bill includes $500 million for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program and $750 million for Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance. Of the Section 202 resources, $300 million is to expand the number of Service Coordinators, a key LeadingAge ask. The remaining $200 million in the bill for the Section 202 account is for COVID-related expenses. Within HUD’s Section 8 PBRA program, 45 percent of PBRA units either directly subsidize Section 202 communities or provide the operating subsidy for elderly-only Section 8 communities. Thus, the $750 million for PBRA in the bill will help senior housing communities respond to COVID-related needs. 

Other highlights include:            

  • FMAP increase by a total of 14 percent from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023.
  • The health care provider relief fund is increased by $175B, with $100B for providers and $75B for testing, contact tracing, vaccines and other items.
  • For aging services employers who want to provide some extra pay to their essential staff, the Heroes Fund to help pay essential workers is also included.  

 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from May 12

Colorado Case Summary

18,879 cases
3,663 hospitalized
987 deaths 
192 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above

Updated PPE Resources

SUMMARY OF HCPF OPERATIONAL MEMOS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19: In an effort to make access easier for members to important COVID-19 information and policy changes, LeadingAge Colorado has put together this document listing all operational memos issued by HCPF. The memos are organized by provider with the latest at the top.

Updated information includes summaries of the HCPF informational webinars and operational memos covering temporary changes in requirements for hiring and training healthcare staff, OPTIONS counseling for nursing facility residents, ULTC 100.2 flexibilities for nursing facilities and PACE. (May 11)

Letter to nursing homes from Seema Verma.  Seema Verma, CMS administrator, sent a letter to all nursing home facility management and staff thanking them for their dedication and commitment and describing all the actions CMS has taken to keep nursing home residents safe and healthy. The accounting includes extensive, ongoing guidance; coordination with CDC; temporary visitor restrictions; blanket waivers of many regulations; and new reporting requirements under the National Healthcare Safety Network. Notably, the letter says that if nursing homes need PPE and/or testing they should contact their state health department immediately.


COVID-19: Updates and Resources from May 11

Colorado Case Summary

19,703 cases
3,631 hospitalized
971 deaths 
190 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above

 State Emergency Operations Center and CDPHE requesting nursing home data

To gain a better situational awareness understanding of COVID-19’s impact nursing facilities, the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in collaboration with CDPHE’s Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division (HFEMSD) is requesting information from you to assist in local and state response efforts. To gather this information, the SEOC as well as state/local public health are using a tool called EMResource. Click here to learn more about the tool and SEOC’s request. 

Updated PPE Resources

New Resource for Residential Care Facilities and Job Seekers

HCPF has launched ConnectToCareJobs.com, a new website to help prevent health care workforce shortages in Colorado, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) public health emergency and beyond. Focused entirely on health care, ConnectToCareJobs.com quickly connects residential care facilities and providers with health care professionals seeking employment. 

The website allows job seekers to create a profile identifying their professional skills and experience; health care professionals with skills appropriate for a residential care facility environment are invited to visit the website now to create an account. HCPF has also invited licensed residential care facilities to create an account through the website, select open positions they are hiring for, and be matched with job seekers that fit their hiring needs. 

OSHA Compliance Assistance during COVID-19 pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) continues to enforce existing safety and health standards while also responding to complaints and questions regarding occupational exposure to COVID-19. OSHA and the CDC have produced a number of guidance documents to help healthcare employers reduce exposures and effectively manage supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). These include:  

Handling COVID-19-related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports (Interim Enforcement Response Plan)

Decontamination of Filtering Facepiece Respirators in Healthcare During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

Supply shortages of disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs)


COVID-19: Updates and Resources from May 7

Colorado Case Summary

17,830 cases
2,986 hospitalized
921 deaths 
174 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above 

Update on CMS-CDC nursing home reporting start date pushed out. CMS announced yesterday that the start date for nursing homes to report through the National Healthcare Safety Network reporting has been pushed out to May 17 with a two-week grace period to May 24. CMS is urging nursing homes to start the enrollment process as soon as possible. 

CDPHE – Isolation Plans Update

According to the department, they will contact facilities who have submitted plans that are not satisfactory to further discuss and improve those plans. In the coming weeks, CDPHE will continue to conduct infection control checks. During these checks, investigators will evaluate the implementation of your COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan. Deficiencies may be cited at this time. 


COVID-19: Updates and Resources from May 6

Colorado Case Summary

17,364 cases
2,919 hospitalized
903 deaths 
170 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above 

Safer at Home

Right now, we are in Level 2: Safer at HomeColoradans are no longer ordered to stay home but are strongly advised to stay at home. At-risk individuals, such as people 65 and older, should continue to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. Critical businesses are open and non-critical businesses are operating with restrictions.

Return of health care employees to work after confirmed or suspected COVID-19

CDPHE is following the CDC guidance for workers returning after a case of COVID-19. Please refer to “Return to Work Criteria for HCP with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 (CDC) for symptom-based and test-based strategies for determining when HCP may return to work.” This guidance was updated on April 30.

 LeadingAge’s Letter to Congress 

LeadingAge sent a request to Congress for the next stimulus bill. It includes requests for additional funding for aging and disability service providers, priority for PPE and testing, additional funding for “hazard pay,” uniform reporting of COVID-19 cases, grants for Medicaid HCBS providers and PACE programs and a 12 percent increase in the federal match rate.


 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from May 5

Colorado Case Summary

16,907 cases
2,838 hospitalized
851 deaths 
163 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above.

Updated CDC return to work criteria

CDC updated Return to Work Criteria last week: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/return-to-work.html. When using a symptom-based strategy for determining when healthcare personnel can safely return to work after recovering from COVID-19, the new guidance includes 10 days since initial onset of symptoms (or first positive test for those who never developed symptoms). The guidance for determining when to discontinue transmission-based precautions in patients/residents has also been updated to reflect the same timelines. Available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/disposition-hospitalized-patients.html

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOANS

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, intends to provide timely additional guidance to address borrower and lender questions concerning the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), established by the CARES Act. This document will be updated on a regular basis.


 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from May 4Colorado Case Summary

16,635 cases
2,799 hospitalized
842 deaths 
163 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above.

Temporary Medicaid rate increase for nursing homes

HCPF has announced an 8 percent increase for Medicaid nursing homes effective April 1-June 30. The funds will be distributed in the form of supplemental payments:

Operational Memo - Temporary Provider Rate Increases for Nursing Facilities and Intermediate Care Facilities (May 1, 2020): The purpose of this Operational Memo is to inform providers and case management agencies of temporary rate increases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for nursing facilities and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IID). The memo includes service, corresponding rate increase and any additional requirements to receive the increase. (May 1)

New CMS reporting requirements for nursing homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an interim final rule on May 1 containing new nursing home requirements for reporting COVID-19 data. Requirements include reporting information to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) system and notification to residents, resident representatives, and families. This rule follows CMS’s announcement on April 19 previewing these requirements. The rule is an interim final rule, scheduled to be published in the federal register on May 8 with a comment period of 60 days. Reporting requirements will be effective immediately upon publishing. LeadingAge will submit comments on this rule. (May 4)

Webinar training for the new LTCF COVID-19 Module for CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network is posted under the Training tab on their web page.

Action Alert: Contact Congress
Support LeadingAge’s affordable senior housing asks in the next COVID-19 relief package by contacting your representatives and senators today. Congress has been working for weeks on the next funding package. Now is the time to make sure your voice is heard. Contact Congress today for affordable senior housing relief.

New HUD FAQs

HUD updated its FAQs for housing providers dealing with COVID-19. The new information covers a variety of questions related to mortgage relief requirements, allowable use of project funds, and resources for food-insecure older adults in affordable housing communities, as well as limited insight into SBA loans for housing providers. (May 4)


COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 30

Colorado Case Summary

15,284 cases
2,697 hospitalized
777 deaths 
159 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above.

Isolation plans DUE TODAY to CDPHE

Skilled nursing facilities, assisted living residences, intermediate care facilities, and residential care facilities for persons with developmental disabilities are required to submit an isolation plan to the Health Facilities Division by TODAY. Facilities will submit those plans to: [email protected]. Failing to submit a plan can result in enforcement actions including fines and jail time.

PPE Resources List

CMS Interim Final Rule on reporting requirements for nursing homes

The long-awaited (a couple of weeks at least, long in COVID time) Medicare and Medicaid Interim Final Rule that includes reporting requirements for the SNF Quality Reporting Program was released today. It will likely be published in the Federal Register in the next day or two; provisions of the rule have different effective dates. Most notably, the rule establishes explicit reporting requirements for SNFs to report information on COVID-19 cases among residents and staff. The reporting requirements will be effective the date the interim final rule is published in the Federal Register.  

The reporting must include: suspected and confirmed COVID-19 infections among residents and staff; total COVID-19 deaths among residents and staff; PPE and hand hygiene supplies in the facility; ventilator capacity and supply; resident beds and census; access to COVID-19 testing in the facility; and staffing shortages. The information will be submitted no less than weekly through the CDC National Healthcare Safety Network. More detailed analyses and related documents will be coming out in the next few days.

CMS announces new blanket waivers

The new waivers include specifics for skilled nursing facilities, home health, and hospice with a great deal of thematic overlap. These include narrowing QAPI to focus on infection control and adverse events, postponing in-service training requirements for aides, waiving quality reporting on discharge planning processes, and lengthening the time to provide clinical records. Read LeadingAge Colorado’s summary here.


 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 30

Colorado Case Summary

14,758 cases
2,621 hospitalized
766 deaths 
157 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above.


COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 29

Colorado Case Summary

14,316 cases
2,571 hospitalized
744 deaths 
149 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above.

House Task Force Presses for $100 Million in Long Term Care Funding

A newly-formed Democratic task force in the U.S. House is pushing Congress to immediately distribute $100 million in funding to aid infection control efforts in senior care settings. Among the priorities:  

  • Sufficient testing kits and PPE
  • Adequate access to staff
  • Ensure adequate infection control guidelines are in place
  • Clarify discharge guidelines for non-COVID019 Meidcare and/or Medicaid patients
  • Report all COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and fatalities to state health departments, the CDC and the general public
  • Ensure senior care settings are part of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.

CDC- National Healthcare Safety Network

The CDC released the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) LTC Facility Component, noting that the nursing home reporting module is activated. The announcement also includes links to webinars on the module and on how to enroll in NHSN.CMS has not yet issued the regulation that we expect will require providers to report cases of COVID-19 through the NHSN. 

HUD issues framework for COVID-19 oversight

As relief funds from Congress flow to various affordable housing programs, HUD’s Office of Inspector General issued a COVID-19 oversight framework to guide program audits and evaluations. The framework discusses supporting older adults and maintaining operational integrity as HUD pulls back on other oversight mechanisms, including physical inspections and file reviews. HUD also issued bulletins on fraud prevention for renters and others. See LeadingAge’s summary here.

New CDC LTC Frontline Staff Training Webinars.

These short webinars are all published on the Key Strategies to Prepare for COVID-19 in Long-term Care Facilities (LTCFs) web page at the bottom under a “Webinar Series” section. CDC reports that “These new webinars are intended to be a training tool/resource for frontline long-term care staff members.”

Here are the direct links to each webinar:

Also, CDC updated three additional resources:


 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 28

Colorado Case Summary

13,879 cases
2,485 hospitalized
706 deaths 
144 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above.

 New CMS memo on nursing homes

On April 24, 2020 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a memorandum covering a variety of nursing facility topics.

 The memorandum includes:

  • Nursing Home Compare website & Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System: The inspection domain will be held constant temporarily due to the prioritization and suspension of certain surveys, to ensure the rating system reflects fair information for consumers.
  • Posting of surveys: CMS will post a list of the surveys conducted after the prioritization of certain surveys, and their findings, through a link on the Nursing Home Compare website.
  • Nursing Home Staff: CMS is publishing a list of the average number of nursing and total staff that work onsite in each nursing home, each day. This information can be used to help direct adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing to nursing homes.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): A list of FAQs to clarify certain actions we have taken related to visitation, surveys, waivers, and other guidance.

 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 27

Colorado Case Summary

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/22 and does not reflect cases since then.  

13,441 cases
2,438 hospitalized
680 deaths 
143 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above.

 Nursing home CMP money available to use for communicative technologies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of COVID-19.1 This guidance directs nursing homes to significantly restrict visitors and nonessential personnel to protect nursing home residents. Recognizing that visitor restrictions may be difficult for residents and families, CMS has developed this application template for requests for the use of Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Reinvestment funds to provide residents with adaptive communicative technologies. Click here for the criteria, application, and instructions. (April 27)

CDPHE requirement for submitting an isolation plan by May 1

Skilled nursing facilities, assisted living residences, intermediate care facilities, and residential care facilities for persons with developmental disabilities are required to submit an isolation plan to the Health Facilities Division by May 1, 2020. Facilities will submit those plans to: [email protected]

Below is the form and a set of frequently asked questions.

 Frequently Asked Questions: 

We already have a plan, do we need to fill out and submit the form?

Yes. A facility will not be in compliance with Public Health Order 20-20 unless a completed form is submitted through the email address.   

We are having a hard time filling out the form, can we send in our own form?

No. The Public Health Order directly references the form and in order to be in compliance, the completed form must be submitted.  

We have multiple locations/facilities, can we submit one form for them all?

No. A form will need to be completed for each facility. 

 Form Guidance:

It is best to download the form and complete it using Adobe Reader. You may be working with the form in a browser preview window instead of Adobe Reader. Browsers such as Chrome, Edge, Safari, and Firefox treat previews like web pages. If you navigate away from the form (clicking a link, closing a tab, etc.) all the completed fields will be lost, and it can be tricky to save a file using a browser. Using a browser to complete the form is not recommended. You can find a more in-depth explanation at:   

https://techdipper.com/2018/05/22/edge-vs-chrome-vs-adobe-reader-pdf-viewer-best/

The Isolation Plan form allows for lengthy paragraphs of text to be entered into relatively small text boxes. This allows us to review long portions of text while maintaining a concise document. If you print a copy for your own records your printer won't resize the boxes and all of the text below the scroll line won't print. 

 For questions about how to submit your isolation plan, please contact (303) 692-2836. 


 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 24

Colorado Case Summary

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/22 and does not reflect cases since then.  

11,262 cases
2,237 hospitalized
552 deaths 
130 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above.

HCPF announces Medicaid rate increases for alternative care facilities

ACFs have been approved for an 8 percent rate increase retroactive to April 1 through June 30.  The memo contains billing instructions for claims already billed and new claims.  The rate increase is tied to the expectation that providers comply with all infection control procedures and guidance issued by CDPHE, HCPF, CDC and CMS.

Nursing home reporting requirements
In a recent call with LeadingAge, the CDC has clarified some details around forthcoming requirements that nursing homes must report information about COVID-19 directly to CDC. Read more.

COVID-19 caregiver education

NextStep’s informal COVID-Ready Caregiver online course is also still available at a steep discount to members. The course is designed to improve the safety of caregivers working with COVID-19 patients in all settings. Through May 2, staff at LeadingAge members can use code LEADINGAGE5 at check-out to access the program for just $5.


 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 22

Colorado Case Summary

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/20 and does not reflect cases since then.  

10,447 cases
2.003 hospitalized
486 deaths 
119 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above. 

$484 Billion Bipartisan COVID-19 Deal Reached in Congress

Congress and the Trump administration have reached a deal to provide increased funds for the depleted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), additional funding for hospitals and health care providers, and increased funds to advance increased capacity for coronavirus testing. The Senate passed the legislation today with House approval later this week.

 The deal provided an infusion of funding for the relief effort without making specific allocations or programmatic changes:

 An additional $75 billion was added to the existing $100 billion Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) designated for health care providers that had incurred increased expenses or lost revenue due to COVID-19. While the statute provides little guidance on how the money will be allocated, we will continue to advocate for senior living (assisted living, independent living, memory care, continuing care) to receive a portion of the funds.

  • $25 billion is allocated to HHS for expenses related to coronavirus research, development, manufacture, administration, and expanded capacity for testing. 
  • An additional $250 billion for the PPP.

 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 21

Colorado Case Summary

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/20 and does not reflect cases since then.  

10,106 cases
1,880 hospitalized
449 deaths 
113 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above.

CDPHE requirement for submitting an isolation plan by May 1

Skilled nursing facilities, assisted living residences, intermediate care facilities, and residential care facilities for persons with developmental disabilities are required to submit an isolation plan to the Health Facilities Division by May 1, 2020. Facilities will submit those plans to: [email protected]

To assist with plan development, a template has been developed and can be located here: Isolation Plan Template. Facilities will receive an automatically generated email to confirm receipt of the plan and will receive no further communication unless the plan is unacceptable. (April 21)

CDPHE develops website dedicated to long-term care facility resources

The new web page provides direction and guidance for long term care and residential facilities. To view this page, which contains the public health order, facility guidance, and other resources visit https://covid19.colorado.gov/ltcf. (April 21)

Executive Order – nurses and nurse aides

Governor Jared Polis issued Executive Order D 2020 038 on April 15, removing regulatory barriers that will provide nurse and nurse aide students in educational programs throughout Colorado avenues towards spring and summer graduation, while bolstering the ability of nurses and Certified Nurse Aides to enter or remain in the workforce. Read here for more information. (April 15)

Affordable Housing Federal Resources

Here are highlights of key federal resources for affordable housing residents dealing with the health and economic crisis. (April 21)


 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 20

Colorado Case Summary

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/20 and does not reflect cases since then.  

9,730 cases
1,813 hospitalized
422 deaths 
111 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities*

*Resident cases, resident deaths, staff cases and staff deaths are now being reported by facility. The data is updated weekly on Wednesdays and is available at the link above.

CDPHE releases resources for long-term care facilities, additional guidance on admissions

Please refer to the following websites for guidance to slow the spread of novel coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. (April 18)

Epidemiologic update 

Location of CDPHE documents

CDC training for health care professionals page

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Strategies 

PPE - Eye protection 

PPE - Isolation gowns 

PPE - Facemasks 

PPE - N95 respirators 

PPE - Decontamination and reuse of filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) 

Admissions (scroll to page 9) REVISED GUIDANCE

Crisis standards of care

LeadingAge Colorado Summary of HCPF Operations Memos in Response to COVID-19 - UPDATED

To make access easier for members to important COVID-19 information and policy changes, LeadingAge Colorado has put together this document listing all operational memos issued by HCPF. The memos are organized by provider with the latest at the top. (April 20)

New reporting requirements for nursing homes coming from CMS (April 20)
In upcoming rule changes, CMS is going to require facilities to report COVID-19 data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a standardized format and frequency defined by CMS and CDC.

Failure to report cases of residents or staff who have confirmed COVID -19 and Persons under Investigation (PUI) could result in an enforcement action.

Additionally, CMS will also be previewing a new requirement for facilities to notify residents’ and their representatives to keep them up to date on the conditions inside the facility, such as when new cases of COVID-19 occur. This memorandum summarizes new requirements which will be put in place very soon.

 COVID-19 Learning Tool Is $5 for Two Week

NextStep’s informal COVID-Ready Caregiver online course is designed to improve the safety of caregivers of all kinds working with COVID-19 patients in all settings. Through May 2, staff at LeadingAge members can use code LEADINGAGE5 at check-out to access the program for just $5.

Executive Order removes regulatory barriers for nurses and nurse aides

Governor Jared Polis issued Executive Order D 2020 038 on April 15, 2020, removing regulatory barriers that will provide nursing and nurse aide students in educational programs throughout Colorado avenues towards spring and summer graduation, while bolstering the ability of nurses and Certified Nurse Aides to enter or remain in the workforce.


 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 17

Colorado Case Summary

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/15 and does not reflect cases since then.  

8,675 cases
1,693 hospitalized
374 deaths 
93 outbreaks

 CDC Guidance on COVID-19 for Assisted Living

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their Considerations When Preparing for COVID-19 in Assisted Living Facilities. This resource contains recommendations by the CDC which Assisted Living owners and administrators are urged to implement to protect their residents and staff. In addition to definitions of PPE and other equipment, the CDC document gives tips on educating residents, family members, and personnel, implementing recommended infection prevention and control practices, and identifying and responding to residents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. As always, it is recommended that you always follow any guidance or instructions from local or state health departments, state regulatory agencies, and your organization’s policies and procedures.


 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 16

Colorado Case Summary

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/14 and does not reflect cases since then.  

8,280 cases
1,636 hospitalized
357 deaths 
83 outbreaks

Recent HUD Multifamily Housing COVID-19 Q&A Guidance

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing updated their COVID-19 Question and Answer document early on April 14, 2020. The updates cover how the agency views extended vacancies resulting from COVID-19 and expands on new HUD provisions from the CARES Act.

New CDC guidance for health care settings. There is new CDC Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Positive Diagnoses in health care settings.  They are implementing “universal source control” for everyone entering a health care facility – they are asking that everyone have a cloth face covering or a face mask – visitors, patients, health care personnel.  Also, everyone must be actively screened for fever and other symptoms. Finally, the guidance indicates that health care settings can forego contact tracing for exposures if they use universal source control and screening for fever and symptoms.

Gov. Polis issues Executive Order regarding health care providers

Executive Order D 2020 038 provides hospitals and health care providers more flexibility to expand the trained medical personnel available to provide health care services within inpatient facilities in response to COVID-19. It allows for the suspension of certain rules covering education requirements for nurses and training and certification requirements for nurse aides. DORA is expected to issue emergency rules. The executive order expires 30 days from April 15.

Communicating About COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic grows, it is crucial that members maintain transparent communication about positive cases with staff, residents, and families. LeadingAge and Argentum have created templates you can use to share important information.


 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 15

Colorado Case Summary

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/13 and does not reflect cases since then.  

7,941 cases
1,556 hospitalized
329 deaths 
78 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

COVID-19 grants, loans & advance funding opportunities for not-for-profit providers

Recent federal legislation has provided some additional or accelerated funding that can be accessed by not-for-profit service providers impacted by COVID-19.  LeadingAge Colorado is releasing this document to help you navigate these funding opportunities.

This funding takes the form of provider relief grants, advance Medicare payments, FEMA grants and potentially forgivable small business loans available now. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act also targets significant funding for larger businesses although those programs are still in development. (April 14)

LeadingAge POLICY ACTION ALERT
Congress is developing the next pandemic relief package now. We need your help to make our aggressive asks on behalf of members a reality. Click below to contact your representatives now:

Contact Congress for Aging Services Relief in the Next Coronavirus Legislation
Contact Congress for Senior Affordable Housing Relief in the Next Coronavirus Legislation


 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 14

Colorado Case Summary

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/12 and does not reflect cases since then.  

7,691 cases
1,493 hospitalized
56 counties
38,742 people tested
308 deaths 
72 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

New CMS guidance for nursing homes on transfers. CMS published a memo this afternoon illustrating LTC facility transfer scenarios for the purpose of cohorting residents based on COVID-19 status. The cohorting information is linked to previously announced 1135 blanket waivers.  

CY20 Service Coordinator Grants - HUD committed to a timeline for funding Calendar Year 2020 service coordinator grants. The agency has yet to announce a timeline for the new service coordinator or Section 202 funding appropriated in the recent CARES Act. The delayed service coordinator grant funds have compounded property budget pressures as senior housing providers struggle with extra costs as a result of COVID-19.


 

COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 13

Colorado Case Summary

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/11 and does not reflect cases since then.  

7,303 cases
1,417 hospitalized
56 counties
37,153 people tested
290 deaths 
68 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter Resources for nursing homes and memory care

The Alzheimer's Association knows that the COVID-19 pandemic is placing tremendous pressures on facilities and caregivers, and they have prepared a guidance document to assist staff in caring for persons with dementia in emergencies in long-term and community-based care settings. It also provides guidance on the importance of person-centered care – the essential starting point for optimal care. More support is also available at alz.org/professionals-covid or at 800-272-3900.

HCPF Operational Memo on Retainer Payments (Adult Day Services)

This memo supersedes HCPF IM 20-017 & HCPF OM 20-021. It extends retainer payments to employment services offered through the Waiver for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (DD) and the Supported Living Services (SLS) Waivers: Prevocational Services and Supported Employment. It also provides guidance to adult day service providers on adjusting claims submitted to date for retainer payments, as well as instructions on how to bill services going forward. These actions must be taken in order to receive retainer payments.

HHS releases $30 billion for Medicare-participating health care providers

Over the weekend, HHS announced its plans for the first $30 billion (tranche #1) of the $100 billion allocated by the CARES Act for the Public Health and Social Services Relief Fund (fact sheet here).  As expected, this first $30 billion will target all hospitals and providers across the United States that are enrolled in Medicare and received Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2019.

The payments (not loans) will begin to be disbursed today, via a provider’s Automatic Clearing House account information on file with UnitedHealth Group. Upon receipt of the payment, providers must sign an attestation and agree to the terms and conditions of the payment (attestations will be available next week through hhs.gov/provider relief). (April 10)

New PACE guidance. CMS issued a new document applicable to PACE organizations, allowing them to submit updates on participant diagnoses for risk adjustment payment purposes via telehealth, rather than in person, visits. Notably, it limits this extension to Telehealth to audio and video, not telephone only.


 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 10

Colorado Case Summary

This summary only includes data through 4/8 and does not reflect cases since then.  

6,202 cases
1,221 hospitalized
56 counties
31,180 people tested
226 deaths 
54 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

LeadingAge Colorado Summary of HCPF Operations Memos in Response to COVID-19

In an effort to make access easier for members to important COVID-19 information and policy changes, LeadingAge Colorado has put together this document listing all operational memos issued by HCPF. The memos are organized by provider with the latest at the top. (April 10)

Nursing Homes added to Amazon preferred list for PPE

Amazon has added nursing homes, assisted living, and senior living to the priority list to buy PPE. They just need to fill out and submit this form. (April 10)

HUD Official to join LeadingAge member call on Thursday.

On Thursday, April 16, Toby Halliday, Director of HUD Multifamily Housing’s Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight (OAMPO), will speak on LeadingAge’s daily COVID-19 3:30pm ET call.  OAMPO has broad jurisdiction over the operational and asset management aspects of HUD’s multifamily housing portfolio, including Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, Section 202, and Section 811. Mr. Halliday and OAMPO are pivotal LeadingAge partners. Please send any questions you have in advance to Linda ([email protected]) or Juliana ([email protected]).

Please plan to be on the April 16 call, and send your questions by COB Monday, April 13, to Linda and Juliana.

Click here to register for the daily calls (including the one on April 16).  (Please note there are no calls on 4/9 for Passover or on 4/12 for Easter).

Advance Care Planning Resources

COVID-19 has brought specific treatment questions into focus.  Even if advance care planning has been completed by your patients/residents in the past, now is a good time to revisit the conversation to address the current pandemic.  This guide and the following resources/tip sheets have been designed to help your patients/residents, their families, and all of us consider specific medical treatments, values and decisions in relation to COVID-19. 


 COVID-19: Updates and Resources from April 9

Colorado Case Summary

Note: This summary only includes data through 4/8 and does not reflect cases since then.  

6,202 cases*
1,221 hospitalized
56 counties
31,180 people tested**
226 deaths 
54 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

HCPF – Operational memo on temporary nurse aides in nursing homes

HCPF, after consultation with CDPHE, released an operational memo on temporary training and certification of nurse aides. Below is a brief summary.

Per the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers, CMS is waiving the requirements that SNFs and NFs may not employ anyone for longer than four months unless they met the training and certification requirements under Section 483.35(d). Nursing facilities must ensure that uncertified staff working as nurse aides under this provision are adequately trained and competent to perform tasks assigned to them.

Through the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency, nursing facilities may allocate these uncertified staff who perform direct health care tasks the same way they allocate licensed staff in Med-13 reporting. Additionally, these expenses must be reported in a separate working trial balance account titled ‘Unlicensed Health Care Salaries - COVID 19’.

HCPF – Operational memo on HCBS residential providers

Operational Memo - Operational Information for HCBS Residential Services Pertaining to COVID-19 (April 7, 2020): The purpose of this Operational Memo is to inform providers and case management agencies (CMAs) of guidelines that shall be followed in residential settings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including actions necessary where there is a suspected or confirmed case of the COVID-19 illness.

This memo instructs ACFs to follow all CDC guidelines in response to COVID-19 virus including suspected or confirmed positive cases, use of telehealth, hygiene and sanitizing procedures, monitoring of residents with illness, following all Governor’s orders on stay-at-home and restricting visitors to only essential persons.


 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

Share this post:

Comments on "COVID-19: Updates and Resources"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment