Featured News

Infection Control Survey Results Show Patterns in Nursing Home Practices

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently provided LeadingAge Minnesota with statements of deficiencies from 120 focused infection control surveys of Minnesota nursing homes conducted during April and May 2020. To assist members in preparing for future surveys, we have prepared a new resource: Focused Infection Control Surveys in Nursing Homes - Deficient Practices Commonly Cited by the Minnesota Department of Health

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MDH Advances Work on Reopening Recommendations

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) continues to work on recommendations for nursing homes and housing with services/assisted living settings to modify general visitation, but there still is not a firm timeline for release of those recommendations. 

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Occupancy Survey to Give First Look at Impact of COVID-19 on Care Centers

As usual, we have emailed an occupancy survey to all care centers to complete. However, these are not usual times so we are going to approach reporting the results quite differently. We are asking for responses ASAP so we can do a couple of reports of the results starting with one before the end of July. 

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State News

Health Care Engineers Association Cancels Fall Conference

The Minnesota Health Care Engineers Association (MHCEA) annual Fall Conference is cancelled this year due to on-going COVID-19 considerations.   

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The Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators (BENHA) officially changed its name July. The statutory change in the board’s name to the Board of Executives for Long-Term Services and Supports (BELTSS) reflects the changing paradigm of long-term care services and the planned July 1, 2021 new licensure category for Licensed Assisted Living Directors. 

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Outdoor Visitation: Pet Visits

In its outdoor visitation guidance, MDH states that “pets must be under the control of the visitor bringing them in.” We have received a few questions as to whether residents may pet and hold the animal. MDH said residents can do so, if desired. 

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Federal News

Action Alert: Affordable Housing Provisions Must Be Included in Next COVID-19 Relief Package

The $1.2 billion in financial support provided by the Emergency Housing Assistance for Older Adults Act (S. 4177, H.R. 6873) must be included in Congress’ next COVID-19 relief package. Ask your members of Congress to help the more than 700,000 older adults in HUD-assisted housing. S. 4177 and H.R. 6873 would provide key relief for affordable senior housing communities navigating the impacts of the coronavirus crisis, including: 

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Reminder: Check Exclusions Databases Monthly

Organizations that participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs are prohibited from employing or contracting with a person or vendor on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG), List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE). 

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CMS Announces Changes to Five-Star System and Restart of PBJ Data Submission

In a policy memo on June 25, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced temporary changes to the 5-star rating system on Nursing Home Compare. These changes include freezing pieces of the staffing and quality measures domains, as well as the immediate end to the payroll-based journal (PBJ) staffing submission waiver. 

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Notable News

Opportunity to Partner for CNA Skills Training

Project for Pride in Living (PPL), a nonprofit organization in Minneapolis is looking for employer partners who are interested in working together to customize a NEW training opportunity to help fill CNA positions within long-term care settings in the Twin Cities metro area. 

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Survey Says: Telehealth Policies to Keep Post-Pandemic

Stratis Health is conducting occasional brief surveys to capture snapshots of the expanding telehealth use in Minnesota. This telehealth snapshot focuses on telehealth policies, specifically the Medicare 1135 waiver. 

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Telehealth: COVID-19 Open the Floodgates but Barriers Remain

Telehealth has been embraced by senior living providers during COVID-19 and changes in federal policy and flexibilities from insurance have made it easier to implement and pay for it. Accompanying this positive progression is the operational demands it has placed on providers and the continued lack of reimbursement.

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Member News

Resource Round-Up: Whole House Testing Decision Guide

As we continue to push for a clear, cogent testing strategy and reimbursement process from the State of Minnesota, we know you are faced with many decisions when it comes testing residents and staff. Our new COVID-19 “Whole House” Testing Decision Guide is a workflow process designed to help you consider what approach is best for your setting. It includes links to key resources to guide your decision and implement your plan. Resources include:

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COVID-19 Resource Round-Up: Infection Control, Testing and Resident Engagement

In this week’s COVID-19 Resource Round-Up, we feature new tools that will help nursing homes enhance infection control, guide providers in testing, and ideas and guidance on how to engage residents during a time of social distancing and visitor restrictions.   

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2021 Stars Among Us Awards Open for Nomination, New Rising Star Award Introduced

The Stars Among Us Awards nominations are open, and we want to hear all about your stars. More than ever, this is a year to recognize your dedicated staff team for their tireless commitment to serving older adults. In addition to our most popular awards, we are excited to introduce a new award this year – the Rising Star Award. 

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