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|
SOS issues memo on voting for those confined to NHs, healthcare settings
The Ohio Secretary of State's office issued a memo on March 14 to county boards of election on how to handle situations when a person is in a healthcare setting. The memo, titled "Procedures for Assisting Voter Confined to a Medical Care Facility," was issued as Ohio prepares for its primary vote on Tuesday. According to the SOS office, "In an effort to ensure both public health and access to voting are appropriately addressed in this unique time, the attached guidance has been given to county boards of elections regarding voters in hospitals and nursing homes where they or their minor child are confined on Election Day. This memo is informed by direction from ODH Director Dr. Amy Acton." Please review the memo by clicking here.
CMS issues emergency waivers in wake of COVID-19
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) issued emergency waivers to better allow the healthcare system to cope with COVID-19. The waivers are retroactive to March 1. Below are some of the waivers:
Skilled Nursing Facilities
CMS is waiving the requirement at Section 1812(f) of the Social Security Act for a 3-day prior hospitalization for coverage of a skilled nursing facility (SNF) stay provides temporary emergency coverage of (SNF services without a qualifying hospital stay, for those people who need to be transferred as a result of the effect of a disaster or emergency. In addition, for certain beneficiaries who recently exhausted their SNF benefits, it authorizes renewed SNF coverage without first having to start a new benefit period.
Second, CMS is waiving 42 CFR 483.20 to provides relief to SNFs on the timeframe requirements for Minimum Data Set assessments and transmission.
Temporarily waiver requirements that out of state providers be licensed in the state where they are providing services when they are licensed in another state. This applies to Medicare and Medicaid.
CMS is also allowing states to request a Section 1135 waiver, which would allow states to waive Medicaid and CHIP authorities during an emergency. Examples of a 1135 waiver include:
For more information on the waivers, including how they impact each provider type, please see the fact sheet available by clicking here.
- Waive prior authorization requirements in fee-for-service programs
- Permits providers located out of state/territory to provide care to another state’s Medicaid enrollees impacted by the emergency
- Temporarily suspend certain provider enrollment and revalidation requirements to increase access to care
- Temporarily waive requirements that physicians and other health care professionals be licensed in the state in which they are providing services, so long as they have an equivalent licensing in another state, and
- Temporarily suspend requirements for certain pre-admission and annual screenings for nursing home residents
For more information on the waivers, including retroactive date, blanket waivers, and how to apply for single case waivers, please see the MLN Article by clicking here.
CMS issues FAQ on benefits; prices for COVID-19
From CMS: "The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued Frequently Asked Questions to Ensure Individuals, Issuers and States have Clear Information on Coverage Benefits for COVID-19. This action is part of the broader, ongoing effort by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to ensure that all Americans – particularly those at high-risk of complications from the COVID-19 virus – have access to the health benefits that can help keep them healthy while helping to contain the spread of this disease.
The COVID-19 FAQs for EHB can be found here: https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/Downloads/EHB-Benchmark-Coverage-of-COVID-19.pdf"
CMS also announced the prices for COVID-19 tests. CDC developed tests are about $36 and non-CDC tests are about $51: "The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is posting a fact sheet to the CMS.gov website to aid Medicare providers with information relating to the pricing of both the CDC and non CDC tests. You can find the fact sheet here: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mac-covid-19-test-pricing.pdf"
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