News

Category: Featured News

Welcome to the Featured News category. The following news items include major developments in the aging services world, as well as important notifications and timely reminders.

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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Modified Background Studies Process Remains in Place for Now

Members have raised questions this week about background studies, so we wanted to share an update about what we know:   

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Focused Infection Control Surveys Offer Learnings for Nursing Homes

Earlier this month the Minnesota Department of Health shared with LeadingAge Minnesota the results from Focused Infection Control surveys of Minnesota nursing homes during April and May.  As we reported earlier, 120 facilities were cited for deficient practice(s), all of those at F880 and with only 4 being cited at scope and severity level G or above. 

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Take Action: #Act4OlderAdults Because COVID is Not Over

COVID-19 is not over. The lives of seniors in our settings are at risk. Our healthcare workers are risking their lives without appropriate PPE, testing and funding. Watch this powerful message from our partners at LeadingAge. Then ask the Minnesotans who represent us in Washington for crucial resources and immediate relief to help fight COVID. Here are two thing you can do now:  

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1st Special Session of 2020 Ends Without Much Progress

The Minnesota Legislature’s first 2020 special session adjourned sine die in the early morning of June 20, just one week after Governor Walz called lawmakers back to St. Paul. Lawmakers failed to reach agreement on any of the major issues – including police reform, bonding, and distribution of CARES Act funds for COVID-19.  

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Legislature is Back in Special Session

For the ninth time in 10 years, there is a legislative special session. It began on June 12 and we do not yet know the length of this special session nor is there any agreement on what issues will be resolved during it. Where do our key issues stand in terms of special session priorities?

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Round-Up: National Healthcare Safety Network Reporting

As we enter the fifth week of nursing homes reporting to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), we thought it would be worthwhile to highlight some of the information we’ve shared with members through our daily updates over the past couple of weeks.  

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Federal and State Emergency Response Funding Still Available

The COVID-19 emergency has had significant negative financial impacts on many providers, including loss of revenue as well as higher costs associated with responding to actual and potential outbreaks of the virus.  Fortunately, the state and federal governments have both responded with large programs of aid to providers, including the most recent development at the federal level - the Medicaid provider distribution from the CARES Act provider relief fund. 

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Expedited Feeding Assistant Curriculum is Available!

The Minnesota Department of Health recently agreed to waive the 8-hour training requirement for Paid Feeding Assistants, in accordance with a waiver from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Our partners at EduCare have released the only MDH approved expedited curriculum in Minnesota, which is a 2.5 hour course with competencies. There is no cost to this program. 

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Nursing Home Survey Results: What You Need to Know and Do

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is spotlighting COVID-19 survey results on the Nursing Home Compare home page. The results of surveys conducted since March 4 (complaints and infection control focused surveys) will be listed and available for the public to download, including a spreadsheet summarizing the findings from each inspection.  

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Facts Not Fear: COVID Data Demands Vigilance

Events of the past week illustrate the power of data to shape the public’s understanding of COVID-19 and how the virus impacts aging services providers and the people you serve.  Unfortunately, these examples are a powerful reminder that inaccurate data or inaccurate reporting can distort that understanding.  

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MDH Releases Updated Data During Senate Hearing on COVID-19

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) yesterday released updated data on the status of COVID-19 in long term care settings during a Senate Family Care and Aging Committee hearing.  

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CMS to Increase Survey & Enforcement Activity Related to Infection Control

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this week (QSO-20-31-All) that it will expand survey activity and increase enforcement remedies relating to nursing home infection control requirements, effective immediately.  Several story lines arise from this memo.   

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Feedback Wanted: 2020 Member Value Survey, Streamlined

The LeadingAge Minnesota Board of Directors will meet for a virtual strategic planning retreat on June 17. We are asking each member site to respond to a quick, 3-question survey to inform its work.  

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Join Us: Legislative Wrap-Up Webinar

Join us on Thursday, May 28 at 12:30 p.m. for a recap of the 2020 legislative session. Our team will review the outcomes of the unprecedented session and share information about what to expect next. 

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CMS Waivers Include Nursing Home Life Safety Provisions; New FAQ Available

The most-recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) update to COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers (see pp. 25-27) includes waivers of a few life safety code provisions that may reduce disruption of patient care and potential exposure/transmission of COVID-19.  In all cases, it will be important to consider these waivers in the context of your existing life safety policies, procedures and plans.  

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MDH Announces Nearly $100 Million in Emergency Response Funding

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) posted a list of awards of emergency response grant recipients who received almost $100 million in state funds to prepare for and respond to the outbreak of COVID-19. 

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CMS Charts a Cautious, Deliberate Approach to Reopening Nursing Homes

In a press release and memo to state officials on May 18, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outlines critical steps that nursing homes and communities should take prior to relaxing protective restrictions currently in place and identifies factors state officials should consider in deciding when it is safe to re-open. While the guidance is specific to nursing homes, it may serve as a foundation for decisions affecting housing with services and assisted living communities as well.  

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