CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 6/8/2020

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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COVID-19 Workshop on June 11: Current Best Practices for COVID-19 Management in Skilled Nursing Facilities, Part 2

Thursday, June 11, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Join us for a continuation of our conversation with an infectious disease physician, a nursing facility medical director and a pharmacist as they discuss the latest COVID-19 scientific findings with a focus on the nursing home setting. …

COVID-19 Workshop on June 11: Current Best Practices for COVID-19 Management in Skilled Nursing Facilities, Part 2 Read More »

HHS Announces New Laboratory Data Reporting Guidance for COVID-19 Testing

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new Guidance that specifies what additional data must be reported to HHS by laboratories along with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) test results. The Guidance standardizes reporting to ensure that public health officials have access to comprehensive and nearly real-time data to inform decision making …

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Nursing Home COVID-19 Data and Inspections Results Available on Nursing Home Compare

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is posting the first set of underlying coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) nursing home data. On April 19, 2020, CMS announced the requirement that nursing homes to inform residents, their families, and their representatives of COVID-19 cases in their facilities. In addition to this, nursing homes are …

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National Nursing Home Training Series

Brought to you by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program Thursdays through July 16, 2020 @ 4-5 p.m. ET Registration is required for all sessions The onset of COVID-19 has taken the need for nursing home infection prevention to a level that has never been seen …

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Individualized Technical Assistance for Nursing Homes

On June 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a statement on new infection control guidance for nursing homes. The statement describes enhanced accountability measures that come at a time when most organizations are weary from their COVID-19 pandemic efforts. CMS enlisted Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs), like the IPRO QIN-QIO, …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 6/1/20

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.  Call details …

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COVID-19 Workshop on June 4: Current Best Practices for COVID-19 Management in Skilled Nursing Facilities

Thursday, June 4, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Join us for our next COVID-19 Workshop on June 4: Current best practices for COVID-19 management in skilled nursing facilities Materials Recording Presentation – Resources shared during the webinar are included at the end of the presentation. …

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CDC NHSN Special Circumstances

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) continues to support the nation’s COVID-19 response for Long-Term Care Facilities. The NHSN Long-term Care Facility (LTCF) COVID-19 Module webpage has many resources outlining facility enrollment steps and live Q&A opportunities. However here are some specific instructions for unique situations: Your NHSN facility …

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CMS Programs & Payment for Care in Hospital Alternate Care Sites

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, state and local governments, hospitals, and others are developing alternate care sites to expand capacity and provide needed care to patients. This newly published fact sheet provides state and local governments developing alternate care sites with information on how to seek payments through CMS programs – Medicare, …

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Toolkit Connects Nursing Homes with Local Solutions to COVID-19 Crisis Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new toolkit developed with QIN-QIOs to aid nursing homes, governors, state departments of health and other agencies who provide oversight and assistance to these facilities to aid in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic within nursing homes. The toolkit features best practices from a …

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Resources for Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month, and we want to recognize the unique position frontline health workers are in during this pandemic and what kind of toll that takes on their mental wellness. As it is, those in health care face high rates of burn out. But now they’re even more at risk for negative mental …

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Updated: COVID-19 Workshop on May 28: Caring for Older Adults with Diabetes in Long-Term Care

Thursday, May 28, 2020, 10:30-11am Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Our May 28 workshop will feature Dr. Sarah Sy, Geriatric Diabetes Fellow in Boston, MA, who will provide insights about caring for older adults with diabetes living in long-term care facilities. Join us to improve your knowledge in: Recognizing …

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Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) Billing and Claims Webinar

May 21, 2020 @ 1pm EDT This webinar will provide an overview on the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) Billing and Claims process. During this webinar, participants will become familiar with the key terms and entities involved in the billing and claims process, understand the MDPP payment structure and how it applies to billing, and …

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CMS Gives States Additional Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic

CMS has approved over 200 requests for state relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including recent approvals for Alaska, Iowa, Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Virginia. These approvals help to ensure that states have the tools they need to combat COVID-19. This is done through a wide variety of …

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Medicare Payment for COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests

Earlier this year, CMS took action to ensure America’s patients, health care facilities, and clinical laboratories were prepared to respond to COVID-19. To help increase testing, CMS developed two codes that laboratories can use to bill for certain COVID-19 lab tests, including serology tests. CMS has updated its guidance to include payment details for additional …

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CMS Releases Additional Waivers for Hospitals and Ground Ambulance Organizations

CMS continues to release waivers for the healthcare community that provide the flexibilities needed to take care of patients during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). CMS recently provided additional blanket waivers for the duration of the PHE that: Modify existing physical environment waivers to allow for increased flexibilities for surge capacity and patient quarantine …

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Trump Administration Issues Guidance to Ensure States Have a Plan in Place to Safely Reopen Nursing Homes

CMS announced new guidance for state and local officials to ensure the safe reopening of nursing homes across the country. The guidance released today is part of President Trump’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. It details critical steps nursing homes and communities should take prior to relaxing restrictions implemented to prevent the spread of …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 5/18/20

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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CMS Accepting Proposals for New Measures for the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program Until July 1

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to remind eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals that the Annual Call for Measures for the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program is still open. Submit a measure proposal by July 1, 2020. Proposals submitted by the deadline will be considered for inclusion in future rulemaking. CMS is …

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NHSN LTCF Users

To ensure accurate data are reported, the NHSN LTCF Team asks that all facilities review the reporting guidance provided in the table of instructions posted on the LTCF COVID-19 webpage. Please note that there have been revisions to the instructions, so read very carefully. The NHSN LTCG Team apologizes if this has caused any inconvenience …

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Quality Payment Program: 2019 Performance Period Suppressed MIPS Quality Measures

In the Calendar Year (CY) 2019 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule (83 FR 59847), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) established a policy that provides for the suppression of measures in certain circumstances. Starting with the 2019 performance period, for measures significantly impacted by clinical guideline changes or other changes where we believe …

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COVID-19 Workshop on May 21: Using the NHSN COVID-19 LTC Module: Data Entry for Enrolled Organizations

Thursday, May 21, 2020, 10:30-11am Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a module within the web-based National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) reporting system for long-term care facilities (LTCFs) to enter COVID-19 data. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mandates …

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Register for the webinar: Long-term Care Facilities’ Response to COVID-19

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 2-3pm EDT For May’s LTSS webinar, join UNITE (Uniting Tribal Nursing Homes in Excellence) in a panel discussion with nursing home and assisted living facility administrators. The panelists will share their experience in responding to COVID-19, including providing care, programming, and staffing. By the end of the webinar, participants will learn: …

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CMS Issues Nursing Homes Best Practices Toolkit to Combat COVID-19

CMS released a new toolkit developed to aid nursing homes, Governors, states, departments of health, and other agencies who provide oversight and assistance to these facilities, with additional resources to aid in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic within nursing homes. The toolkit builds upon previous actions taken by the Centers for …

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AHRQ’s COVID-19 Resources

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shares a new online resource that provides access to critical research and tools related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The resource was developed to support healthcare professionals in their effort to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes: tools and resources for improving clinical practice in hospitals, ambulatory care …

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CDC Hosts NHSN Live Q & A Session

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) will be hosting a Live Q & A Session on Thursday, May 14, 2020. This session will solely discuss COVID-19 Module for Groups and answer Group User specific questions. You will have the opportunity to join this session via ZOOM and you must register to gain access. Please note …

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Letter From CMS Administrator to Nursing Home Workers

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma penned a letter to nursing home management and staff. Administrator Verma shared her gratitude for the unwavering dedication and commitment of nursing home management and staff in keeping residents safe and for continuing to compassionately care for those who rely on them during …

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May 11-15: CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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CMS Releases Additional Waivers for Hospitals and Other Facilities

CMS continues to release waivers for the healthcare community that provide the flexibilities needed to take care of patients during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). CMS recently provided additional blanket waivers for the duration of the PHE that: Expand hospitals’ ability to offer long-term care services (“swing beds”); Waive distance requirements, market share, and …

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Join Us For An Enrollment Tutorial Webinar

Want to help people with Medicare stay healthy and prevent diabetes? Become a Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) supplier. As a supplier, you’ll help people with Medicare make lasting behavior changes through group-based training & individual support. There have been some changes to the MDPP enrollment process due to COVID-19. Specifically, the emergency declaration waives the PECOS …

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COVID-19: IRF Flexibilities During the PHE

CMS is exercising regulatory flexibilities for Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs) during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) to waive the 60 percent rule. We are also waiving IRF coverage and classification requirements if all of these criteria are satisfied: Patient is admitted to a freestanding IRF to alleviate acute care hospital bed capacity issues IRF …

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Medicare Pharmacies and Other Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Independent Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories to Help Address COVID-19 Testing

A new MLN Matters Special Edition Article SE20017 on Medicare Pharmacies and Other Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Independent Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories to Help Address COVID-19 Testing is available. Learn how to temporarily enroll to be an additional laboratory resource to meet the urgent need to increase COVID-19 testing capability.

COVID-19 Workshop on May 14: NHSN COVID-19 Module for Long-Term Care Facilities

Thursday, May 14, 2020, 10:30-11am Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a module within the web-based National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) reporting system for long-term care facilities (LTCFs) to enter COVID-19 data. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mandates …

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CMS News Summary – MAY 7, 2020

Here is a summary of recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) actions taken in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19, click here www.coronavirus.gov. For information specific to …

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) wants to remind people with Medicare that the program covers mental health services to support them during these stressful times including: Telehealth counseling services during the COVID-19 public health emergency – learn more here: https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/telehealth Other outpatient mental health services, …

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Updated eCQM Specifications and eCQM Materials for 2021 Reporting Now Available

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted the electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) specifications for the 2021 reporting period for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals, and the 2021 performance period for eligible professionals and eligible clinicians. CMS updates the specifications annually to align with current clinical guidelines and code systems so …

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New Guidance Available on Requirements for Notification of Confirmed and Suspected COVID-19 Cases Among Residents and Staff in Nursing Homes

CMS issued a memo and frequently asked questions addressing the new requirement that nursing homes and long term care facilities report COVID-19 facility data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and to residents, their representatives, and their families. This action, included in the recent Interim Final Rule with Comment Period, will support …

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RIDOH Shares Personal Protective Equipment Videos

Personal protective equipment (PPE), including respirators (like N95s), facemasks (such as surgical masks), face shields and other eye protection, gowns, and gloves, are in short supply across the United States. Until appropriate PPE is available, the Rhode Island Department of Health provide guidance on the prioritization and conservation of PPE. Watch these educational videos on …

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Register Now: CDC is Hosting 4 Live Q&A Sesions on the NHSN COVID-19 Module

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED – SPACE IS LIMITED The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hosting four live Q&A sessions on the NHSN COVID-19 Module. Sessions: If you plan to attend more than one session, you must register for each individually. May 6, 1:00pm ET: LTCFs COVID-19 Live Q&A Session Pt. 1: Module and …

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Additional Resources & Calls for Stakeholders

CMS has developed a toolkit for stakeholder partners to help you stay informed on CMS and HHS materials available on COVID-19. Check back often for the most up-to-date information; please refresh your browser often to see the most up-to-date information. Upcoming COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls Conference lines are limited, so we highly encourage you to join …

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CMS Releases Updated Fact Sheets

CMS has updated multiple fact sheets that summarize changes made through regulatory actions in response to COVID-19. View more resources available on CMS waivers and flexibilities here. A full list of emergency declaration blanket waivers for health care providers implemented to date is available here. Additional fact sheets include: Clinicians:  Physicians and Other Practitioners (PDF) …

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May 12 Webinar: Rural Health and COVID-19

Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 4-5:00pm EST Delivering healthcare in rural communities presents unique challenges that have always required coordination and innovation. Now, more than ever, it is essential that rural communities and healthcare providers have access to the resources they need to combat COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) …

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CMS COVID-19 Calls: May 5-8, 2020

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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COVID-19 Rapid Response Network for Nursing Homes from IHI & John A. Hartford Foundation

On Monday, May 4, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation, is launching the COVID-19 Rapid Response Network for Nursing Homes. The network is designed to support nursing home leadership, staff, residents and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Rapid Response Network will feature a daily 20-minute National …

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Medicare Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Services Guide

View this guide to review coding and guidelines for the COVID-19 emergency. Updated 01/07/21 This information was prepared as a service to the public, and is not intended to grant rights or impose obligations. This information may contain references or links to statutes, regulations, or other policy materials. The information provided is only intended to …

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CDC’s NHSN LTCF COVID-19 Module: CDC Holds Additional NHSN Trainings

CDC is holding additional NHSN trainings on the COVID-19 Module for Long-term Care Facilities (LTCF). Please check the NHSN website before each training session to make sure that the information has not changed. COVID-19 Module for Long-term Care Facilities Enrollment Guidance When: May 4, 2020 Time: 2:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) …

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COVID-19 Workshop Series on May 7: Crucial Elements of End-of-life Conversations

Thursday, May 7, 10:30-11:00am Based on the success of the IPRO QIN-QIO April 30 webinar, we’re pleased to announce that we will be hosting a series of 30-minute webinars on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am, beginning on Thursday, May 7. Learn more. We’re committed to helping you provide the best care for your residents, a …

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CMS Announces Independent Commission to Address Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

Commission will comprehensively examine best practices in responding to COVID-19 in nursing homes As a part of President Trump’s Opening Up America Again effort, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new independent Commission that will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. …

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COVID-19 Update from the Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is processing payments from the Provider Relief Fund to hospitals with large numbers of COVID-19 inpatient admissions through April 10, 2020, and to rural providers in support of the national response to COVID-19. “These new payments are being distributed to healthcare providers who have been hardest hit …

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Second Round of Sweeping Changes to Support U.S. Healthcare System During COVID-19 Pandemic

At President Trump’s direction, and building on its recent historic efforts to help the U.S. healthcare system manage the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today issued another round of sweeping regulatory waivers and rule changes to deliver expanded care to the nation’s seniors and provide flexibility to the …

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Weekly COVID-19 Care Site-Specific Calls

CMS hosts weekly calls for certain types of organizations to provide targeted updates on the agency’s latest COVID-19 guidance. One to two leaders in the field also share best practices with their peers. There is an opportunity to ask questions of presenters if time allows. Home Health and Hospice (Tuesdays at 3:00 PM Eastern) Tuesday, …

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Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19 (Fridays at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern)

Lessons from the Front Lines calls are a joint effort between CMS Administrator Seema Verma, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Physicians and other clinicians are invited to share their experience, ideas, strategies, and insights with one another related to their COVID-19 response. There is an opportunity to ask …

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COVID-19 Resource Guide

The following guide is a compendium of resources related to COVID-19. These resources were identified by our quality improvement experts on behalf of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). These resources will help support your work in reducing COVID-19 cases and helping prevent new cases. Updated 4/20/20 Updated edition coming soon

CDC’s LTC Mini-Webinars

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) long-term care (LTC) mini-webinars are now live! These mini-webinars are all published on the Key Strategies to Prepare for COVID-19 in Long-term Care Facilities (LTCFs) web page at the bottom under a “Webinar Series” section. View the handout (PDF). These new webinars will be a great training …

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Updated: CDC’s COVID-19 NHSN Module for Long Term Care Facilities

CDC’s NHSN provides healthcare facilities, such as long term care facilities (LTCF) with a customized system to track infections and prevention process measures in a systematic way. Tracking this information allows facilities to identify problems, improve care, and determine progress toward facility and national healthcare-associated infection goals. The NHSN Long-term Care Facility Component is supporting …

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