The Academy of Senior Health Sciences, Inc. (formerly The Ohio Academy of Nursing Homes, Inc.) seeks to provide public education and awareness initiatives to the long-term care community in Ohio. Our membership represents a true cross-section of the skilled nursing facility profession, from small sole proprietorships to larger Ohio-based multi-facility companies, as well as those businesses that service our industry. Through our public education and awareness efforts, the Academy brings the collective influences of the members together into a single voice on vital issues affecting our profession.
Founded in 1966, the Academy then identified one of its core purposes as "To foster a spirit of goodwill among those persons engaged in the nursing home industry, to promote ethical practices in their relationships with each other, their employees, and the general public to the end that all interests may be served fairly..." Though the organization has undergone several transformations over the years, most notably in 2011, its dedication and commitment to Ohio's most frail and elderly remains the same.
| The Academy Weekly Headlines from 2 Weeks Ago|
State works to address CMS testing mandate
The Ohio Departments of Medicaid and Aging met with long-term care stakeholders this week, including The Academy, to discuss the recent QSO memo that outlines the CMS testing requirements for nursing homes. (See separate story below.) The current state supported mandate requires nursing home staff to undergo PCR testing every two weeks and report the results back to CCURT via an online survey. The CMS testing requirements are both more stringent (weekly or twice a week) and less stringent (monthly) depending on the positivity rate in the county. Those to be tested also vary between the programs, with CMS requiring more people. The CMS mandate along with the arrival of point of care (POC) rapid antigen testing equipment at nursing homes has state officials considering changes to the state supported mandate. Ideas of how the state could help that were discussed during the meeting include:
The group also discussed the significant amount of resources the CMS mandate will use. This includes the expense of the testing and staff time to run the tests. Furthermore, the group discussed the implications of the 48 hour test result requirement. Given the difficulties some providers are having already procuring the POC test kits and the frequency of testing required if there is a positive result or for a provider is located in a high positivity county, it is unlikely providers will be able to meet the 48 hour requirement. State officials believed providers should do the best they can to meet the requirement, document their efforts, and continue to perform testing although the frequency of the testing was not specified. Others on the call believed the memo was unclear as to the frequency of testing if the POC rapid tests are not available and the lab turnaround time is greater than 48 hours. One concern raised was if the turnaround time is 10 days and the facility is supposed to test every 72 hours, multiple tests would be taken before any results were returned if the CMS schedule was followed. This could be a waste of resources. We will provide any further information on this issue as it becomes available.
We are hoping state officials decide quickly on some of these issues to avoid confusion. We will update you once we learn more.
- Use only the CMS mandate as the testing requirements for nursing homes;
- Offer state supported testing once a month to help providers meet the minimum monthly requirement;
- Have the state procure supplies for the POC machines and distribute to facilities;
- Create a "lab clearing house" for providers to select from that has labs the state has vetted and and provide estimated turnaround times;
- Help streamline the CLIA data reporting process.
Sponsor our Fall Conference Nov 11, 12 and 13!
The 2020 ASHS/OANAC Fall Conference and Annual Meeting is scheduled for November 11, 12 and 13 and we want you to be a part of it! We have great sponsorship opportunities available that are sure to get your brand noticed before and during the virtual conference. Besides piggy-backing off our marketing of the conference to over 1,200 valid email addresses, your logo could be displayed throughout the meeting and even in the background! And we are willing to work with you on other options to promote your company. Contact The Academy to learn more or secure your sponsorship online today by clicking here!
Immunity bill on Governor's desk
After a brief conference committee that extended the immunity period to September 30, 2021, both the House and Senate agreed to the Conference Committee report for H.B. 606. H.B. 606 creates civil immunity for health care services provided during the pandemic and any COVID exposure or infection related to persons (defined to include businesses, non-profits, schools, etc...). Facilities that provide rehabilitation services and long-term care are included. The bill is now waiting for the Governor's signature. Please click here to download the As Enrolled version of the bill.
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