The Academy of Senior
Health Sciences, Inc.
17 South High Street
Suite 770
Columbus, OH 43215
Fax: 614.461.7168

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
R3AP available 24/7; emergency staffing available soon —  The Ohio Department of Aging announced last week that the R3AP call line (1-855-732-7632) is now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Providers can call R3AP for any of the following reasons:
  • Vaccination,
  • COVID-19 testing and cohorting,
  • Temporary staff support, and
  • Infection prevention and control education.
R3AP can be contacted if you are facing an immediate staffing crisis that may jeopardize the health and safety of the residents. In related news, the Controlling Board approved $7.5 million for emergency staffing for SNF and AL providers. The approval allows ODA to contract with Maxim Health Care Services, LeaderStat, and Alto Health Care Staffing. According to ODA, the current plan is to have teams of about four (1 RN, 1 LPN, and 2 STNAs) to provide emergency staffing support when a facility cannot sufficiently staff. Ideally, the teams will vary depending on a facility's needs and will be based regionally. ODA is still finalizing how it will implement this service. It will be part of the R3AP temporary support staff services. More information on the R3AP program is available by clicking here.

ODM provides info on ARPA relief spending —  The Ohio Department of Medicaid held a webinar last week outlining how pandemic relief funding would be allocated among the different provider groups. Skilled nursing facilities were not included; however, assisted living and ICF facilities were covered. Assisted living facilities are to receive $500 per licensed bed and will have to register in the OAKS system as a vendor to receive payment. ICFs will receive a supplemental payment based on December 1, 2021 certified bed count. Their payments will go through the MITS. All of the provider relief spending will require emergency rules, which are currently being drafted by ODM. The ICF payment, along with the SNF payment, will require a Medicaid state plan amendment (SPA) and need approval from CMS. ODM is also currently drafting the SPA. More details on the SNF payment are expected this week.

Oral antiviral drugs in limited supply —  The FDA recently approved oral antiviral drugs for the treatment of COVID. (Please see the CDC HAN by clicking here for more information on available treatments for COVID.) Unfortunately, there is a limited supply that will be allocated by the federal government with input from each state. According to ODH, "A limited supply of these new oral therapeutics is being allocated to Ohio by the federal government. Due to the limited supply, the state is utilizing a selection of the existing monoclonal providers to distribute the medication on day one. As supply becomes more readily available, the state will expand to additional providers." Furthermore, ODH states "At this time, Ohio’s allocations are being made by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) in cooperation with state partners including the Ohio Department of Aging, healthcare associations, and clinical zone leadership to ensure equitable distribution. The goal of Ohio’s state-coordinated distribution system is to maintain equitable distribution geographically and across different types of facilities (hospitals and healthcare systems, long-term care facilities/pharmacies, and federally qualified health centers), factoring in current supply and utilization. With the initial supply of oral therapeutics being extremely limited, distribution will be focused on the smallest number of providers who have experience with the federal allocation system through the monoclonal antibody system, and who provide the greatest level of access statewide. The supplies are maintained and distributed by a wholesaler (AmerisourceBergen) contracted through HHS, and are never possessed by the state. ODH’s role is to facilitate allocations and ensure fair and equitable distribution." ODA has assured The Academy that long-term care providers, including nursing homes, are a priority. They instructed providers to continue to work with their pharmacy on acquiring both the oral antivirals and monoclonal antibodies. The R3AP program can be contacted if a provider is having difficulty accessing treatments via their pharmacy. ODH's provider communication for therapeutics is available by clicking here.

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