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|
NH staff testing starts Tuesday at 160 homes
The Congregate Care Unified Response Team (CCURT) has released the first schedule for the nursing home repeat testing project. (Click here to view the list in Excel format.) There are only 160 facilities on the list as the state begins a "soft launch" of the program. It will most likely take 3 weeks (i.e. three schedules) to complete the first round of tests. After the first round, the state plans on meeting the every two week repeat testing requirement. There are a few changes from the webinar on Tuesday:
State officials said an FAQ would be released prior to the start of the testing on Tuesday. The FAQ will address questions from the webinar and how to handle staff that are not present on the day of the testing. We will let you know when that is available.
- Providers will not have to go and pick-up testing supplies. Regardless of the assigned lab, the supplies will be shipped to the facility.
- Providers assigned to the ODH lab will receive three rounds worth of test kits (cover six weeks). Those assigned to other labs should receive two rounds worth of test kits.
- The Ohio National Guard will be acting as the courier if required for now. They will be doing "curbside" pick-ups. Providers need to be ready at any time on the pick-up day to provide the ONG the specimen.
- Providers cannot change their testing date because it was assigned based on lab capacity. If you believe you have a special circumstance that requires a change, you must contact CCURT to determine if a date change is possible.
For those who missed the webinar last week on the staff testing, it can be viewed by clicking here. The slides from the webinar are available to download by clicking here. The state also issued the following documents about the staff testing via EDIC late last week:
State to cover self-insured tests; fill-out insurance info!
State officials informed The Academy and other nursing homes stakeholders that they would cover the costs of COVID testing even if the provider is self-insured. As of right now, there is not a method to indicate if a staff member is part of a self-insured program when ordering the test. Providers should fill in the forms using the employee's insurance information, including the third party administrator information if the provider is self-insured. The TPA will bill the provider for the costs of the tests. The state will cover those expenses "on the back end" and reimburse providers. Providers need to keep those invoices for reimbursement purposes. This process may or may not change going forward. The state, as it increases state lab capacity, plans on hiring their own third party administrator to handle insurance billing. The state will discuss the best way to handle self-insured providers with their TPA vendor once that has been decided. For now, it is essential that the insurance information for your staff is complete. This includes spouse's insurance if they have it, or the insurance info for those that are part of a self-insured plan. Only use the uninsured check box if the person is actually uninsured. If the information is incomplete, the provider may be billed and expected to cover the costs for those tests. We understand it is a tedious task, especially with repeat testing. The state is currently determining a method so that providers only have to provide this information once, or for a set number of tests.
State announces plan for testing at RCFs
The Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Department of Health released a letter last week announcing a program that allows RCFs to test residents and staff at no cost to the provider. (Please click here to view the letter.) The test being used is a saliva test with an anticipated turnaround time of 48 hours.
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