The Academy of Senior
Health Sciences, Inc.
17 South High Street
Suite 770
Columbus, OH 43215
614.461.1922
800.999.6264
Fax: 614.461.7168
cmurray@seniorhealthsciences.org



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
ODM releases draft rules for 70% direct care spend requirement —  The Ohio Department of Medicaid shared draft rules for the implementation of the 70% of the rebasing increase be spent on direct care. The rules would compare CR 2020 direct care expenditures minus the Attachment 12 COVID costs to quarterly reports submitted online by each provider. The first report would be due in January and cover the first two quarters of state fiscal year 2022 (July 1 to December 31, 2021). Providers that fail to spend 70 percent of the increase in their rate due to rebasing, which can be found in the July 1 rate packets, would have to repay the money back to Medicaid, plus interest. Concerns were raised about using the 2020 costs given the pandemic. The Academy advocated for using CR 2019 data as the baseline. Furthermore, some providers experienced a decrease in their case-mix score thus impacting their direct care rate. ODM was holding case-mix constant; however, case-mix is included on the premise direct care expenses change with a change in case-mix. Providers with a decrease in case-mix would thus have lower direct care expenses. This would not be accounted for in the current ODM methodology. ODM is taking comments until Thursday. Please see the draft rules here. If you have comments, please contact The Academy.

FDA panel recommends booster for 65+, at risk, healthcare workers —  ODH provided the following information regarding the recent FDA panel's decision to recommend Pfizer booster shots to segments of the population: "On Friday, a preliminary step toward authorization of COVID-19 boosters was taken. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel recommended the FDA authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for those at highest risk for exposure and severe outcomes from COVID-19. This includes people age 65 and older, people at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness, as well as healthcare workers and other workers at high risk for occupational exposure. Booster doses could be administered at least six months following completion of the original vaccine series, according to the recommendation.

The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) approved the recommendation unanimously after rejecting a proposal to recommend the FDA authorize booster doses of the vaccine for any recipient age 16 and older at least six months after completion of the original COVID-19 vaccine series. The panel said more safety and effectiveness data is needed for review before it will recommend booster doses for the general population.

There are multiple steps involved in the authorization of booster doses for COVID-19 vaccines. All steps in the process must be complete before plans for booster dose administration can be finalized and a booster dose can be given to any eligible Ohioans.

  • Next, the FDA will consider VRBPAC’s recommendation and, if in support, will update the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization (EUA) to include booster doses for the eligible populations.
    • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (now known as Comirnaty) has received full FDA approval for its two-dose series for people age 16 and older.
    • The emergency use authorization (EUA) remains in effect for the following uses:
      • Two-dose vaccine series for people ages 12-15.
      • Additional doses to strengthen immune response in recipients who are immunocompromised and may have had insufficient response to the initial two-dose regimen.
      • Once authorized, a booster dose to help eligible, fully vaccinated people maintain protection.
  • In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which is slated to meet next week, will make recommendations for the booster dose and may further define eligibility for a booster dose.
  • The VRBPAC recommendation could be modified by the FDA, ACIP or the CDC.
  • The FDA will consider updates to the Moderna and/or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine EUAs separately after applications are submitted by the vaccine manufacturers and those applications are reviewed. After the FDA and CDC have taken action, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) will finalize and share plans to administer the booster dose to eligible Ohioans. ODH has been working on distribution plans with partners to ensure that vaccine will be available as needed. However, until the federal government makes final recommendations on who is eligible and when, these plans cannot be finalized. Federal partners have assured us the vaccine supply will be sufficient to support any approved booster program. In addition, ODH does plan to track additional doses and report information on our dashboard to be consistent with CDC reporting.
ODH will continue to share developments in the approval process for the booster dose. As we prepare for approval of boosters, we encourage providers to order vaccine, if needed, to ensure sufficient supply is readily available for boosters. As always, please use existing supply prior to utilizing vaccine with longer expiration dates.

For more information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov. If you have any questions or issues, please contact our vaccine provider relations team between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1-844-9ODHVAX (1-844-963-4829) or email COVIDVACCINE@odh.ohio.gov

BELTSS rules undergo 5 year rule review —  The Ohio Revised Code requires BELTSS to review its rules at least every 5 years and conduct stakeholder outreach on those rules and any proposed changes. BELTSS is reviewing 4751-1-02, 4751-1-04, 4751-1-05, 4751-1-05.1, 4751-1-06, 4751-1-09, 4751-1-11, 4751-1-14, 4751-1-15, and 4751-1-16. Here is a brief synopsis of the changes:

Rule Change 4751-1-02 Definitions

4751-1-02: Rule being changed to add a definition of "supervision of an administrator-in-training".

4751-1-04: Rule change to correct a misspelling.

4751-1-05: Rule being changed to reflect the Board's change of authority over the Core of Knowledge program. Rule changed to reflect changes made in the law by HB 263, namely, removing "of good moral character", and adding provisions that the Board would comply with Section 9.79 of the Ohio Revised Code.

4751-1-05.1: Rule being changed to remove the need for the Core of Knowledge providers to have an approval number granted by the Board's Continuing Education Committee.

4751-1-06: Rule changed to reflect the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Board's terminology change from "Domains of Practice" to "Exam Content Outline"

4751-1-09, 11 through 15 Rule changed to reflect changes made in the law by HB 263, namely, removing "of good moral character", and adding provisions that the Board would comply with Section 9.79 of the Ohio Revised Code.

4751-1-16 Rule being changed to reflect changes to 9.78 of the Revised Code, namely, the charging of a nominal fee for a criminal conviction determination made by the Board.

The full version of these rules can be found on the Board's website under the "News and Events" link.

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