News of Promising COVID-19 Vaccines Turns Attention to States’ Distribution Plans
News of two possible vaccines for COVID-19 have given Americans hope at a time when it is needed most as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. This promising news has also emphasized the need to make certain that home care workers are included in the first group to receive the vaccine.
The CMS Targeted COVID-19 Training for Frontline Nursing Home Staff & Management is available now, with five specific modules designed for frontline clinical staff and 10 designed for nursing home management. The training is available for free on the CMS Quality, Safety & Education Portal.
As we approach the start of the holiday season with Thanksgiving next week, HCAOA is offering support and resources for members to demonstrate our gratitude for your strong commitment to providing care to thousands of Americans during the pandemic.
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, HCAOA assembled a Medical Advisory Committee to provide guidance specific to home care agencies about best practices and protocols for providing care safely. The Committee continues to stay on top of the latest CDC guidance to provide up-to-the-minute guidance, such as how often caregivers should be tested for COVID?
Last week, health officials redefined what counts as close contact with someone with COVID-19 to include briefer but repeated encounters. For months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said close contact meant spending a solid 15 minutes within 6 feet of someone who tested positive for coronavirus. The CDC has now changed that to a total of 15 minutes or more - so shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period now count. The CDC advises anyone who has been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient to quarantine for two weeks. Click here for more information.
HHS Updates: Apply for Provider Relief by Nov. 6, Changes to Reporting Requirements
A reminder that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is accepting applications for the most recent phase of Provider Relief Funding (PRF). Providers who have already received relief funds, as well as previously ineligible providers, are now eligible to apply. The deadline to apply is next Friday, Nov. 6. Click here for details.
A coalition including HCAOA, the International Franchising Association, National Retail Federation and others, have sent a letter to Congressional Democrats asking them to join in voting for a discharge petition to release $130 million in funds that was left unused when the Paycheck Protection Program expired in August.
Earlier this week, President Trump announced that HHS is releasing 150 million rapid-response COVID-19 tests. Of the 150 million, 10 million will be distributed to home, health, and hospice care agencies, which includes home care agencies.
Governors and public health officials across the country have implemented stringent measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19, such as stay at home orders, mask orders, and business screening requirements.
You can find lists of these orders, compiled by Littler Mendelson, in the following links:
Earlier this week, House Democrats released a slimmed-down $2.2 trillion legislative package. A possible vote could occur later this week on this new package. However, Senate Republicans are on record not wanting to spend $1 trillion for relief efforts, so it is unclear whether a deal can be reached.
A number of states have recently taken regulatory action related to COVID-19.
Join HCAOA on October 1 for an exclusive members-only webinar featuring Johns Hopkins Associate Professor of Medicine Shmuel Shoham, who will provide an update on COVID testing policies and discuss the study he is encouraging home care agencies to help promote with their frontline workers and clients. Shoham will be joined by Wellspring Personal Care Co-Founder Steven Fox, DO.
Cost: FREE to HCAOA Members
*This is an HCAOA Members only webinar.
Click here to register.
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