Featured News

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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State News

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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Free OSHA Recordkeeping Training Available in September, October

Maintaining an accurate OSHA log of recordable work-related injuries and illnesses is an important skill that benefits employers, workers, safety professionals and government agencies. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has announced free introductory-level training seminars about OSHA recordkeeping requirements, including recording COVID-19: 

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Waiver Reimagine: July 13 Webinar

The Minnesota Department of Human Services will host a July 13 webinar to Waiver Reimagine, a process designed to make system-level improvements to Minnesota’s disability waiver programs.  

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Federal News

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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Advance Beneficiary Notice for Part B Services Has Been Renewed

The Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN), Form CMS-R-131, and instructions have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for renewal. The use of the renewed form with the expiration date of June 30, 2023 will be mandatory on Aug. 31, 2020.   

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Shared Accountability: New National Commission on Nursing Home Safety & Quality

A new White House commission focused on protecting nursing home residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond was announced last week. Providers who were appointed to that commission are seeking deeper collaboration with regulators that is focused more on solutions, not penalties.  

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Notable News

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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How COVID-19 and Technology Would Reshape our Future

During COVID-19, we have witnessed some needed and long-awaited changes that have been accelerated as a byproduct of our response to this global pandemic. Some of these changes, especially with respect to the use of technology, will most likely reshape our future.  

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Member News

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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Resource Round-Up: Outdoor Visits; Testing Experience & Potential Vendors; Navigating Trauma

In this week’s COVID-19 Resource Round-Up, we share tools to help you plan and communicate outdoor visits, navigating the grief and trauma that accompany a global pandemic and new testing resources, including a vendor list and a webinar featured the experiences and perspectives of our LeadingAge MN members. 

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