COVID-19

CMS & CDC Trainings & Live Q&A Sessions on COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management

Trainings The CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management training series covers 13 topics that your nursing home staff must know to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. These trainings are housed on www.QIOProgram.org for 24/7 access. New, pre-recorded trainings will be released every Thursday at 4PM EDT through September 2020. Live Q&A Sessions Live …

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COVID-19 Workshop on October 1: Surgery During the Pandemic

Thursday, October 1, 10:30-11AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on alternating Thursdays, 10:30–11AM. Join us on October 1 for a conversation with a person who recently had major brain surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear her perspective on the supportive hospital staff and the transition to follow-up telehealth visits with both her surgeon and …

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Respiratory distress the cause of most post-COVID hospital readmissions

This published article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (August 2020) describes a retrospective cohort study of COVID-19 positive patients who were hospitalized between February 27 and April 12, 2020. The main measures were readmission or return to the emergency department following discharge for COVID-19 infection. Of the 2864 discharged patients, 103 (3.6%) returned …

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Housing Insecurity a Growing Problem

COVID-19 will have an unprecedented impact on homelessness, according to analysis by Dr. Brendan O’Flaherty, a professor of economics at Columbia University. Dr. O’Flaherty projects a 40-45% increase in homelessness this year compared to January 2019. This equates to nearly 250,000 additional people losing their housing, mostly due to lay-offs resulting from the economic impacts …

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Assessing Telemedicine Unreadiness Among Older Adults in the U.S.

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a rapid and massive shift to telemedicine to help protect patients and providers from infection. A JAMA Internal Medicine research letter asserts that an estimated 38% of older adults in the U.S. are not ready for telemedicine, mainly due to inexperience with technology. These findings are based on a cross-sectional …

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COVID-19 Workshop on Sept. 17: CDC’s Influenza Resources & Infection Surveillance

Thursday, Sept. 17, 10:30-11AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on alternating Thursdays, 10:30–11AM. Join us to learn about the most current resources regarding the upcoming Influenza season and infection prevention and surveillance best practices. Materials Presentation Recording Have specific questions? Let us know and we’ll address them in our upcoming webinars. Email us at: …

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COVID-19 and Influenza Season 2020-2021

The COVID-19 pandemic caused healthcare providers to change how they operate to continue providing essential services to patients. It is essential to ensure immunization services are maintained or re-initiated. Immunizations help protect individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks while reducing the burden of respiratory illness during the upcoming influenza season. Centers for Disease …

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CMS Stakeholder Calls: September 8-24

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. CMS COVID-19 …

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Telehealth Webinar on September 22: A Physician Office’s Transition Experience

Tuesday, September 22, 1-2PM EDT Part of the Telehealth Practice Innovations During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar Series Join us on September 22 as Dr. Chris Campanile and Marisol Carcamo, Office Manager, describe how their office staff modified their practice to accommodate telehealth use and ensure their patients’ needs were met.

CMS Releases Interim Final Rule, Reporting Requirements Updates, and Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions

August 26, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s healthcare facilities are prepared to respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE). On August 25, 2020, an interim final rule with comment period (IFC) went on display at the Federal …

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CMS Launches National Training Program to Strengthen Nursing Home Infection Control Practices

New training provides education on critical safety measures to keep residents safe August 25, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is implementing an unprecedented national nursing home training program for frontline nursing home staff and nursing home management. The training is designed to equip both frontline caregivers and their management with …

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Nursing Home Strategies for COVID-19 Only Isolation of COVID-19 Residents

August 25, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Medicaid Informational Bulletin (CIB) that provides guidance to states on flexibilities that are available to increase reimbursement for nursing facilities that implement specific infection control practices, such as designating a quarantine or isolation wing for COVID-19 patients. Nursing facilities are particularly …

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Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19

Twice a month on Friday, 12:30–2:00 PM EDT 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 …

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CMS Proposes Policies to Provide Seniors with More Choices and Lower Costs for Surgeries

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing several policies that would give Medicare beneficiaries more choices in where they seek care and lower their out-of-pocket costs for surgeries. The proposed rule takes steps that would allow hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to operate with better flexibility and patients to have what they …

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COVID-19 Workshop on August 13: Family Perspectives: Nursing Home Visitation Restrictions & Communication

Thursday, August 13, 10:30-11AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30–11AM. COVID-19 has changed how we interact within nursing homes and how we visit loved ones. Join us as we share strategies for facilities, families, and residents including: Communication strategies used between residents, families, and facilities during the pandemic How communication or lack …

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Telehealth Webinar on August 25: Telehealth Then & Now – A Provider’s Perspective

Tuesday, August 25, 1-2PM EDT Part of the Telehealth Practice Innovations During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar Series Join us to learn the evolution of telehealth technology and how providers are using it during the pandemic. Our speaker will share provider challenges, barriers, lessons learned, and his experience consulting with nursing homes as they navigate telehealth. …

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CMS Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Advances Access to Care in Rural Areas

Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule would make permanent certain telehealth and workforce flexibilities provided during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and improve healthcare for Americans in Rural Areas  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing changes to expand telehealth permanently, consistent with the Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access that …

CMS Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Advances Access to Care in Rural Areas Read More »

COVID-19: Coverage of Physician Telehealth Services Provided to SNF Residents

The current COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) does not waive any requirements related to Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Consolidated Billing (CB). However, CMS added CPT codes 99441, 99442, and 99443, to the list of telehealth codes coverable under the waiver during the COVID-19 PHE. These codes designate three different time increments of telephone evaluation and …

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CMS and CDC announce provider reimbursement available for counseling patients to self-isolate at time of COVID-19 testing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are announcing that payment is available to physicians and health care providers to counsel patients, at the time of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing, about the importance of self-isolation after they are tested and prior to the onset …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls: August 11-14

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 Updates Data on COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries

On July 28, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its first monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. For the first time, the snapshot includes data for American Indian/Alaskan Native Medicare beneficiaries. The new data indicate that American Indian/Alaskan Native beneficiaries …

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COVID-19 Workshop on August 6: COVID-19 & Telehealth Advance Care Conversations

Thursday, August 6, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Join us as Michele Carignan, RN and Courtney Lamothe, MSW, LCSW from Continuum Care of Rhode Island, discuss the importance of advance care conversations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learning Objectives: Recognize the importance and challenges of having …

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OCR Issues Guidance on Civil Rights Protections Prohibiting Race, Color, and National Origin Discrimination During COVID-19

Today, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing guidance to ensure that recipients of federal financial assistance understand that they must comply with applicable federal civil rights laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in HHS-funded …

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Telehealth Webinar on August 11: Medicare Billing and Coding for Telehealth During the COVID-19 Pandemic

August 11, 1-2pm EDT Part of the Telehealth Practice Innovations During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar Series Learn how to bill Medicare for expanded telehealth services under the CMS 1135 Waiver. The presentation, by Susan Whittaker, CPC, CPMA, Senior Program Coordinator, Healthcentric Advisors will include information on: Medicare telehealth coding and billing based on care setting …

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Telehealth Webinar on July 28: Telehealth 101 & Lay of the Land

Tuesday, July 28, 1-2pm EDT Part of the Telehealth Practice Innovations During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar Series An overview of telehealth, presented by Reid Plimpton, MPH, Program Manager of the Northeast Telehealth Resource Center. Learn about: The Telehealth Resource Center’s mission Strategies for implementation Telehealth modalities, uses, value and costs Associated laws Real-life examples Materials …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – July

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 Announces Membership of Independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the MITRE Corporation has published the membership of the independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes. CMS seeks an independent review and comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The agency tasked the contractor, MITRE, …

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COVID-19: Nursing Home Testing, SNF Benefit Period Waiver

MLN Matters Special Edition Article SE20011 Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Response to the Public Health Emergency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is updated. Learn about: Updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for testing nursing home residents and patients Updated on applying the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) benefit period waiver

HHS Telemedicine Hack

A 10-week learning community to accelerate telemedicine implementation for ambulatory providers Wednesdays, July 22—Sept 23, 12-1PM ET Although telemedicine use has grown exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic, many ambulatory providers still lack the knowledge and skills needed to implement video-based telemedicine into their practices. To support wide adoption of telemedicine, the U.S. Department of Health …

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CDC COVID-19 Webinar on July 29: Promising Practices in Health Equity

July 29, 2020 @ 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET Please join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for another webinar focused on sharing promising public health practices to reduce COVID-19 related disparities. During this webinar, presenters will discuss actions taken to mitigate the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities. Additionally, …

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CMS Call on July 17: COVID-19 Lessons from the Front Lines Call

Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19 (Twice a month on 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, …

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New England Town Hall on July 29: Substance Use & COVID-19: A Way Forward

July 29, 2020 @ 2-3:30PM EDT The US. Department of Health & Human Services hosted a New England Virtual Town Hall with the U.S. Surgeon General, VADM Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, entitled Substance Use and COVID-19: A Way Forward. This virtual, live New England Town Hall was designed to help our region chart a …

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CMS Directs Additional Resources to Nursing Homes in COVID-19 Hotspot Areas

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency’s targeted approach to provide additional resources to nursing homes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hotspot areas. Specifically, CMS plans to deploy Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) across the country to provide immediate assistance to nursing homes in the hotspot areas as identified by the White …

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COVID-19 Workshop on July 16: Resiliency – Coping & Recovering During a Pandemic

Thursday, July 16, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties—so what does that look like across the health care spectrum during this pandemic? Join us as we discuss fostering community resilience and how it impacts those you serve. …

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National Nursing Home Training on July 9: Managing Staffing Challenges

July 9, 2020 @ 4:00 – 5:00 PM ET The National Nursing Home Training Series is brought to you by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the QIO Program, a national network of Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) serving every state and territory. This Week’s Topic: Managing Staffing Challenges Join CMS …

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CMS Proposes Medicare Payment Changes to Support Innovation and Increased Access for Dialysis in the Home Setting

Rule proposes improved process to pay for innovative dialysis equipment and support home dialysis for Medicare’s most vulnerable population Today, the Trump Administration took dramatic steps to support access to home dialysis through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed changes to the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS). Building …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 6/29/20 and July

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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National Nursing Home Training on July 2: Transparency – Resident and Family Notification

July 2, 2020 @ 4:00 – 5:00 PM ET The National Nursing Home Training Series is brought to you by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the QIO Program, a national network of Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) serving every state and territory. This Week’s Topic: Transparency – Resident and Family …

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COVID-19 Workshop on July 23: Dementia Care Practice Recommendations for People Residing in Nursing Homes

Thursday, July 23, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Join us on July 23 as we share dementia care practice recommendations for people residing in nursing homes. Learning Objectives: Increase awareness on the key topic areas that define quality dementia care Increase knowledge of the person-centered …

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COVID-19 Workshop on July 9: COVID-19 Related Thrombosis in Skilled Nursing Facilities

Thursday, July 9, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Join us for a COVID-19 Workshop on July 9 as we share strategies on preventing and treating COVID-19 related thrombosis in skilled nursing facilities. Learning Objectives: Review the association between COVID-19 infection and thrombotic events Discuss recent …

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CMS Announces Plans to End the Blanket Waiver Requiring Nursing Homes to Submit Staffing Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to end the emergency blanket waiver requiring all nursing homes to resume submitting staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system by August 14, 2020. The PBJ system allows CMS to collect nursing home staffing information which impacts the quality of care residents receive. The …

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Webinar on June 30: Berkshire HealthCare Systems’ COVID-19 Journey – Getting to the Gold

June 30, 2020 @ 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT The COVID-19 pandemic created enormous pressure on our health care system. Nursing Homes, where over 85% of the residents are among the most vulnerable, were immediately impacted with several thousand residents confirmed positive in only a few weeks. As of June 18th, Massachusetts reported over …

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Webinar on July 1: Dialyzing Patients in Skilled Nursing Homes During COVID-19

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 @ 3-4pm Special COVID-19 Webinar Presentation Nursing home residents who need dialysis treatments are at high-risk for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) infection. You will hear from leaders with Dialyze Direct and Concerto Renal Services about how they are minimizing risks of contacting COVID-19. Dialyze Direct offers in-house dialysis machines and staffing in …

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National Nursing Home Training on June 25: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Strategies for COVID Care

June 25, 2020 @ 4–5 PM ET The National Nursing Home Training Series is brought to you by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the QIO Program, a national network of Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) serving every state and territory. This Week’s Topic: PPE Strategies for COVID Care Following today’s …

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Medicare Coverage of COVID-19 Testing for Nursing Home Residents and Patients

June 19, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) instructed Medicare Administrative Contactors and notified Medicare Advantage plans to cover coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) laboratory tests for nursing home residents and patients. This instruction follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent update of COVID-19 testing guidelines for nursing homes …

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CMS Released Weekly Update of Nursing Home COVID-19 Data as of June 7, 2020

In case you missed it, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the second set of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) nursing home data today. The data will be updated weekly going forward; for more information on nursing homes, including a link to the COVID-19 nursing home data, visit Nursing Home Compare. CMS also …

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COVID-19 Workshop on July 2: Nourishing the Mind, Body, & Soul During COVID-19

Providing Compassionate Food & Nutrition Services Thursday, July 2, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Join us for a COVID-19 Workshop on July 2 as we host a conversation with registered dieticians. Together, we’ll learn about: Successful practices to stabilize resident food intake Monitoring and managing …

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COVID-19 Workshop on June 25: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Nursing Homes

Thursday, June 25, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. The COVID-19 pandemic presented healthcare professionals with enormous challenges related to PPE. Some challenges include reusing equipment, using odd or never-before-seen equipment, and having to endure unlimited hours of use. On June 25, join us as the …

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Register Now: IHI Hosts Weekday Nursing Home Huddles

The impact of COVID-19 on older adults is difficult to measure. Memories not made, questions unanswered, and loved ones separated for extended periods of time. We may never know the full effects of this pandemic on older adults in our communities, but we do know that there are actions we can take today to improve …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 6/15/20

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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Conference Call: Applying COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Strategies in Nursing Homes

Tuesday, June 16, 2020 @ 2:00pm-3:00pm (ET) During this CDC Clinician Outreach and Communications Activity (COCA) call, presenters will use case-based scenarios to discuss how to apply infection prevention and control guidance for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that are preparing for and responding to COVID-19.  If you are unable to attend the …

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COVID-19 Workshop on June 18: Health Equity & COVID-19 – Mitigating Impacts on Minority Populations

Thursday, June 18, 2020, 10:30-11:00 AM EDT Our COVID-19 Workshop Series continues on Thursdays, 10:30 – 11:00 am. Join us on June 18 at 10:30am for a COVID-19 workshop on health equity. Better understand how and why COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting minority and vulnerable populations Learn actionable strategies for mitigating the impact of the pandemic …

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Implementing Strategies for COVID-19 Surveillance and Early Detection

How should nursing homes approach COVID-19 testing and surveillance for their residents, staff and others who visit their facilities? National Nursing Home Training Webinar Through our work with hundreds of nursing homes, the IPRO QIN-QIO, and other QIN-QIOs across the country, are excellent resources for quality improvement expertise and crowd-sourced provider tips. And that’s what …

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QIN-QIOs Partner with CMS to Create New COVID-19 Toolkit for Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed a toolkit full of innovative solutions deployed at the state level to protect our nation’s vulnerable nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic—all scouted and sourced by the IPRO QIN-QIO and other Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) serving every state and territory. Governors, long term …

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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. …

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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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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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