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March 28, 2020

Coronavirus Resources & Updates

 

 

Information Released by MAHC on March 27, 2020:

 

 

Good News!

Some Home Health and Hospice Issues Approved in
Missouri Hospital Association 1135 Waiver Request

 

We are glad to see that certain requests related to Home Health and Hospice in the Missouri Hospital Association's (MHA) 1135 Waiver submitted to CMS has been approved. The Missouri Alliance for Home Care (MAHC) has also submitted a waiver request, which included the following, plus additional requests. Based on MHA's response from CMS, we are hopeful many of our additional requests will also be approved. We will have to wait and see but, in the meantime, the following waivers have been granted. Some will most likely need additional clarification. We will let you know as soon as we receive.

 

Home Health Agencies:

 

 * Reporting: Provides relief to Home Health Agencies on the timeframes related to OASIS Transmission. (Approved on 3/13/2020- Clarified) This waiver includes:

o Extension of the 5-day completion requirement for the comprehensive assessment

o Waives the 30-day OASIS submission requirement

 

* Home Health 42 C.F.R. § 484.55(a). Home health agencies can perform initial assessments and determine patients' homebound status remotely or by record review. This will allow patients to be cared for in the best environment while supporting infection control and reducing impact on acute care and long-term care facilities. This will allow for maximizing coverage by already scarce physician and advanced practice clinicians and allow those clinicians to focus on caring for patients with the greatest acuity.

 

 

Hospice:

 

 * Waive requirement for hospices to use volunteers. CMS is waiving the requirement that hospices are required to use volunteers (including at least 5% of patient care hours). It is anticipated that hospice volunteer availability and use will be reduced related to COVID-19 surge and anticipated quarantine. (42 CFR §418.78(e))

 

* Comprehensive Assessments: CMS is waiving certain requirements for Hospice (§418.54) related to update of the comprehensive assessments of patients. This waiver applies the timeframes for updates to the comprehensive assessment (§418.54(d)). Hospices must continue to complete the required assessments and updates, however, the timeframes for updating the assessment may be extended from 15 to 21 days.

 

* Waive Non-Core Services: CMS is waiving the requirement for hospices to provide certain non-core hospice services during the national emergency, including the requirements at §418.72 for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology.

 

 

Home Health & Hospice:

 

* Waived onsite visits for both HHA and Hospice & Aide Supervision: CMS is waiving the requirements at 42 CFR 418.76 (h) and 484.80(h), which require a nurse to conduct an onsite visit every two weeks. This would include waiving the requirements for a nurse or other professional to conduct an onsite visit every two weeks to evaluate if aides are providing care consistent with the care plan as this may not be physically possible for a period of time. This waiver is also temporarily suspending 2-week aide supervision requirement at 42 CFR §484.80(h)(1) by a registered nurse for home health agencies, but virtual supervision is encouraged during the period of the waiver.

 

 

Click here to see CMS' response letter to MHA.

 

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Various COVID-19 Info for Home Health and Hospice

Click here to download the specific information related to the above topics.

 

 

Information Released by MAHC on March 26, 2020:

 

Stimulus Bill Heads to House - Home Care & Hospice Provision Included

 

Late last night the Senate passed the $2 trillion stimulus bill by a vote of 96-0. This bill now moves to the House for their consideration where it is expected to be approved tomorrow morning. The prime focus of the bill is widespread relief to workers, business, and more.  It does contain several Medicare and Medicaid provisions of relevance for the home care and hospice community.

 

Provisions impacting home care and hospice are as follows:

  1. Use of Telehealth for Hospice Face-to-Face Encounters during Recert Process - Permits hospice F2Fencounters to be performed through telehealth during the emergency period, "as determined appropriate by the Secretary." Specific guidance must come from CMS.  It is not yet known what forms of telehealth CMS may approve. (Section 3706)
  2. Encouraging Use of Telecommunications for Home Health Service - This provision does not create any certain telehealth relief measures such as reimbursement. Instead, it shifts decision-making to CMS to determine what it can do within its authority. Requires CMS to issue clarifying guidance encouraging the use of telecommunications systems, to furnish home health services. (Section 3707)
  3. Allowing Non-Physician Practitioners to Certify Medicare Home Health Benefit Eligibility - This provision would finally change the requirements that only a physician can authorize a plan of care and certify benefit eligibility. If passed, CMS would still need to change rules to implement it. (Section 3708)
  4. Suspension of 2% Sequester - This provision would increase all provider payments by 2% effective May 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. At this point it is uncertain if it relates to claims paid during that period or services rendered. Best assumption is that the time period is services rendered. (Section 3709)
  5. Providing Home and Community-Based Services in Acute Care Hospitals - This provision appears to be a way of extending the nature of HCBS waiver services into a hospital setting to reduce length of stay and free up beds. (Section 3715)

The national arm of MAHC's lobby firm, Husch Blackwell Strategies has shared their March 25, 2020 COVID-19 daily update that includes a breakdown by section, what is included in the Senate stimulus bill (our specific section number are noted above).  Click here to read the March 25, 2020 update for specific details.

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Coronavirus Response Act with Emergency Paid Sick Leave -
Call to Action and Valuable MAHC Member Benefit Resources Available

 

NOTE: Exemptions for Health Care Providers Require Revision to Cover Some Home Care, Hospice Personnel

On Wednesday, March 18, President Donald J. Trump signed into law H.R. 6021 (P.L. 116-127), The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which expands access to Emergency Paid Sick Leave to as many as 87 million U.S. workers, and provides families with Emergency Paid Family Leave to address widespread and potentially prolonged school closures due to Coronavirus.

 

The legislation acknowledges the great demand for health care providers during the growing public health emergency and allows for a limited exception that is available to employers of "health care providers".  PLEASE NOTE:  At this time the regulatory definition of "health care provider" for purposes of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is limited to physicians and other practitioners, and does not extend to RNs/LPNs/LVNs, home health or hospice aides, or various other home care and hospice personnel.

The Missouri Alliance for Home Care (MAHC) in conjunction with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and other associations are working to secure legislative and/or regulatory revisions that would support the important work of home care and hospice entities and allow them to exclude a broader range of staff from the requirements to ensure that they can continue to provide quality care to vulnerable patients throughout the pandemic.  These provisions are effective no later than 15 days following enactment, providing the Department of Labor (DOL) leeway to issue rules providing clarification around issues addressed in the legislation.

 

Click here to view MAHC's letter sent to the Department of Labor that outlines MAHC's rationale for recommending the above-changes to the definition of "health care provider." 

 

CALL TO ACTION:  We encourage you to write to the Department of Labor to support this expansion of the definition.  Given the limited time frame action must be taken as soon as possible. Click here on how to submit your letter.

 

Valuable Resources for Employers

Also, as a MAHC member benefit, you have access to our Management Consulting firm, SESCO. The following are VALUABLE resources for employers related to COVID-19. We highly suggest you bookmark these links and check back often as they will be updated frequently.

 

MAHC member benefit - SESCO Management Consultants Resources

Daily Staff Recommendations:
The SESCO Staff continues to meet daily and discuss all developments of the Emergency Paid Family and Medical Leave. Click on the link below for the most up-to-date Staff recommendation. SESCO is in communication with The Department of Labor ("DOL") attempting to obtain answers and clarification on a number of questions that were absent from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA" or "Act"). As such, they will continue to update the information as they learn more.

 

Click here for the full Staff Recommendation.

 

COVID-19 Employer General Frequently Asked Questions:
Many employment-related issues face employers in the wake of COVID-19.  SESCO has created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, which has been continually updated since first published and will continue to be updated as events warrant.

 

To view the full list of questions and answers click here.

 

Posting Requirement under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA):
Each covered employer must post a notice of the FFCRA requirements in a conspicuous place on its premises. An employer may satisfy this requirement by emailing or direct mailing this notice to employees or posting this notice on an employee information internal or external website. 

 

The notice can be accessed on SESCO's website by clicking here.

 

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3-25-20 UPDATED COVID-19 Emergency Guidance
Released for HCBS Providers

 

The COVID-19 Emergency Guidance has been updated again.  Providers should review all sections identified as new or updated for the latest guidelines.

 

Click on the following link to access the HCBS Provider Information Page that includes the UPDATED Emergency Guidance: https://health.mo.gov/seniors/hcbs/covid-19-provider-info.php  or click here for a PDF version.

 

New Sections:

 Updated Sections:

Any questions regarding this information should be directed to Long Term Services and Supports via email at ltss@health.mo.gov.

 

COVID-19 Guidance - HCBS Intake Center and Person Centered 

Care Planning (PCCP) Team Operations 

 

 As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the HCBS Intake Center will no longer be conducting preliminary prescreen Level of Care (LOC) determination on participants. All HCBS Intake Center staff will be reallocated to support the PCCP Team (formerly known as REV Team) to create a statewide call center to support telephone operations.

Instead of conducting a telephone prescreen on potential participants, the HCBS Intake Center will be ensuring information regarding referrals for initial assessments are given to DSDS assessor staff to determine initial LOC over the telephone. The PCCP Team will continue to complete all orders for care plan changes.

 

In an effort to preserve the phone lines for participants, e-mail or fax is the preferred method to submit referrals or communication to HCBS Intake Center and PCCP Team. Please send information to the appropriate email address/fax number (see below) to ensure timely processing. The following forms may be used to submit the requests/referrals. All e-mails must be encrypted to protect the participant's privacy.

 

Provider Communication Form
Initial Referral Form

Initial Referrals: Fax: 573/526-2915

 

Email: HCBSCallCenterReferrals@health.mo.gov

 

PCCP Teams - Care Plan/Provider Change Requests:

PCCP 1: REV1@health.mo.gov or by fax to 417/895-1341
PCCP2: REV2@health.mo.gov or by fax to 573/290-5650
PCCP3: REV3@health.mo.gov or by fax to 314/340-3467
PCCP4: REV4@health.mo.gov or by fax to 816/889-2004
PCCP5: REV5@health.mo.gov or by fax to 573/884-4884

 

Questions regarding this memorandum should be directed to the Bureau of Long Term Services and Supports (BLTSS) via e-mail at LTSS@health.mo.gov or by telephone at 573-526-8557.

 

To access the full memo, click on the following link and refer to
INFO-03-20-03 https://health.mo.gov/seniors/hcbs/infomemos.php

 

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Information Released by MAHC on March 23, 2020:

 

DHSS Releases Updated Memo - 

Guidance on Hospice Care in Long-Term Care Facilities

 

On March 20th, the Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) sent a updated memo – Guidance on Hospice in Long-Term Care Facilities to all Missouri Long-Term Care facilities and Hospice providers.  MAHC is continuing our communications with the Section for Long-Term Care, the Bureau of Home Care & Rehab Standards and the Division of Regulation and Licensure all within DHSS related to concerns denying hospice personnel into nursing facilities.

 

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3-23-20 UPDATED COVID-19 Emergency Guidance
Released for HCBS Providers

 

The COVID-19 Emergency Guidance has been updated again.  Providers should review all sections identified as new or updated for the latest guidelines.

https://health.mo.gov/seniors/hcbs/covid-19-provider-info.php

 

New Sections:

 Updated Sections:

 Additional resources have also been added to the "Resource" tab. 

 

Any questions regarding this information should be directed to Long Term Services and Supports via email at ltss@health.mo.gov.

 

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COVID-19 Childcare Needs Assessment for Staff

 

In an effort to support continuing operations of critical services during the COVID-19 outbreak, the State of Missouri is working to identify the childcare needs of essential health care staff, which includes Home Health, Hospice, HCBS and Private Duty provider staff.

 

Please distribute the following link to staff who are in need of childcare services in order to remain at work: https://stateofmissouri.wufoo.com/forms/m1cs1vfl1dde8dt/

 

The State will collect this information and coordinate with local school districts and other resources to determine available options. Additional information will be shared with affected parties as it becomes available.

 

At this point this is information gathering to see what options might be available. While not many details are yet available if anyone has questions please contact childcare@health.mo.gov.

 

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Information Released by MAHC on March 19, 2020:

 

 

UPDATED COVID-19 Emergency Guidance
Released for HCBS Providers

 

The COVID-19 Emergency Guidance has been updated.  Providers should review all sections identified as new or updated for the latest guidelines.

 

Click on the following link to access the HCBS Provider Information Page that includes the UPDATED Emergency Guidance: https://health.mo.gov/seniors/hcbs/covid-19-provider-info.php or click here for a PDF version.

 

New Sections:

 

Updated Sections:

 

Any questions regarding this information should be directed to Long Term Services and Supports via email at ltss@health.mo.gov.

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Information Released by MAHC on March 18, 2020:

 

Home Health & Hospice

CMS Issues Regulatory Waivers in Response to COVID-19

(from NAHC Report)

 

For the full report click here

 

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COVID-19 Emergency Guidance Released for HCBS Providers

 

The Division of Senior and Disability Services (DSDS) released the following notice:

 

Please refer to the following COVID-19 HCBS Provider Information page for up to date guidance related to the outbreak.  As new information arises the page will be updated and a DSDS e-news blast will be sent out notifying providers of any changes.  Please check your email daily for new notifications.

 

Click on the following link to access the HCBS Provider Information Page that includes the Emergency Guidance: https://health.mo.gov/seniors/hcbs/covid-19-provider-info.php

 

        (or click here for a PDF version of the Guidance)

 

DSDS has also requested that we ask providers to email questions instead of calling right now as they are also experiencing staffing shortages due to school closures.

 

Also, I encourage members to continue to reach out to MAHC related to further issues or needs that arise due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Information Released by MAHC on March 17, 2020:

 

 Additional daily info related to the COVID-19 situation - 

 

 

Private Duty Nursing (PDN) Services - COVID-19 Changes

 

MAHC is working diligently to advocate for waivers and other measures to assist all providers during this challenging time. Today, MO HealthNet released a bulletin that includes changes to Private Duty Nursing (PDN) services processes due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Click here to access the memo.

 

DSDS & DMH Letter to HCBS Providers

 

Division of Senior and Disability Services (DSDS) and Department of Mental Health (DMH) leadership release letter regarding updated information and guidance for HCBS providers related to COVID-19.

 

Click here to access the letter.

 

Coronavirus COVID-19 Homecare and Hospice Checklist:
What You Should Be Doing Now as of Date 3/16/2020

 

Barbara Citarella of RBC Limited Healthcare & Management Consultants has created a REVISED checklist for the current situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Click here to access the REVISED Checklist.

 

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Information Released by MAHC on March 16, 2020:

 

Additional info related to the COVID-19 situation - 

 

Early Prescription Refill

 

On March 13, 2020, the Missouri Department of Social Services issued a provider bulletin changing the early refill policy for medications from 85% to 50% for controlled and non-controlled substances.  This will allow participants to have over 15 days of medication on hand should they need to be quarantined or be practicing self-quarantine.  Please encourage and assist your patients/clients to utilize this flexibility to increase the amount of medications they have on hand.

 

Click here to see the memo. 

 

COVID-19 Long-Term Care Facilities Visitor Restrictions

 

The Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) sent the following information to Missouri Long-Term Care facilities this past weekend. MAHC continued communications with the Section for Long-Term Care at DHSS related to concerns denying hospice personnel into nursing facilities.

 

The DHSS guidance applies to all long-term care facilities including residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and intermediate care facilities for persons with intellectual disabilities. The guidance states:

In response to the COVID-19 concern DHSS is instructing facilities to impose restrictions on visitors. These recommendations include but are not limited to the following:

 

 Exceptions to restrictions:

Click here to access the full memo.

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As a follow-up to the information released by MAHC on Friday, March 13, 2020, DHSS has released the following information related to the process and requests for PPE:

 PPE Resource Process and Requests

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Information Released by MAHC on March 13, 2020:

 

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY 

 Home & Community Based Services (HCBS) 

A memorandum has been issued regarding the need to conduct all assessments via telephone, effective immediately for Home & Community Based Services.

 

Please refer INFO-03-20-01 at the link provided below.

 

https://health.mo.gov/seniors/hcbs/infomemos.php

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR REQUESTING PPE SUPPLIES

 Home Health, Hospice & HCBS Providers

Based on our conversations with DHSS related to PPE supplies please see the following guidance we received this morning. 

 

Providers should contact either their local county health department or local emergency manager and ask that they make the request vie WebEOC, or they can email DRMS@health.mo.gov directly with their requests. They will need to add a justification for why they need the PPE and exactly what they need. The EOC will start reviewing the requests next week but suggested that providers make their requests now so they are already in the system.

 

CDC information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/healthcare-supply-ppe-index.html on the supply of PPE including N95 masks. It is best for providers to check with their local emergency preparedness officials (state department of health, coalition, etc.) regarding local supplies.

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CMS NEWS: CMS Publishes FAQs to Ensure Individuals, Issuers and States have Clear Information on Coverage Benefits for COVID-19

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COVID-19 Resources for State Agencies – Specific Home Care Resources Below

ADvancing States represents the nation’s 56 state and territorial agencies on aging and disabilities and long-term services and supports directors and has compiled COVID-19 resources relevant to the aging and disability networks. This web page includes the latest federal guidance from ACL, CMS, and the CDC. You can also view materials from other state agencies.

Learn more at: 
www.advancingstates.org/covid-19

The site has links to a collection of COVID-19 resources and guidance produced by state health departments and agencies.  Below are a few examples you may find helpful:

North Carolina
Guidance on considerations of people with disabilities and other access and functional needs for COVID-19 

 

Texas
Tips for the public: Managing your stress related to COVID-19

Tips for health professionals: Managing your stress related to COVID-19

Vermont
Recommended Precautions for Caregivers

Virginia
Pandemic preparedness checklist

Washington State
Memo with information for Home Care Providers
Guidance for In-Home Care Providers

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Information Released by MAHC on March 11, 2020:

 

 CMS Sends More Detailed Guidance to Providers about COVID-19


Home Health -   Latest group to receive important information on protecting staff and at-risk patients. Click here to view CMS' guidance for home health providers.  

 

Hospice - there has been discussion around hospice providers who are being told by nursing homes that they are not permitted to enter the homes to care for their patients on hospice care because the nursing home has instituted a no visitor policy.  On March 9, CMS issued separate guidance for hospices and for nursing homes that references appropriate procedure relative to these circumstances:

 

Revised Nursing home guidance:  https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-14-nh-revised.pdf

Excerpt from pp. 3-4:  5. Facilities should review and revise how they interact with volunteers, vendors and receiving supplies, agency staff, EMS personnel and equipment, transportation providers (e.g., when taking residents to offsite appointments, etc.), other practitioners (e.g., hospice workers, specialists, physical therapy, etc.), and take necessary actions to prevent any potential transmission. For example, do not have supply vendors transport supplies inside the facility. Have them dropped off at a dedicated location (e.g., loading dock). Facilities can allow entry of these visitors as long as they are following the appropriate CDC guidelines for Transmission-Based Precautions. For example, hospice workers can enter a facility when using PPE properly.

 

Hospice guidance:  https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-16-hospice.pdf
 Excerpt from page 6:  If hospice care is provided in a nursing home, we have advised nursing homes that hospice workers should be allowed entry provided that hospice staff is following the appropriate CDC guidelines for Transmission-Based Precautions, and using PPE properly.

 

Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans

 Click here to view CMS' memorandum for MA and Part D plans.

 

Key Protective Mask Guidance for Healthcare Workers

The memo clarifies the application of CMS policies in light of recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance expanding the types of facemasks healthcare workers may use in situations involving COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.  Click here to view the memo.


The memo aligns CMS policy with recent changes to CDC and FDA facemask and respirator guidance in light of COVID-19 and supply demands. To help reduce burden on healthcare facilities at this time, the CMS memo implements CDC guidance by stating that facemasks, which protect the wearer from splashes and sprays, are an acceptable temporary alternative to respirators, which filter the air, for most medical services until demand for respirators lessens.

 

 
NAHC Website Offers New Tools for COVID-19

 

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) wants to make you aware that there are three new tools added to the NAHC coronavirus webpage:

These resources were developed by NAHC and are provided in a format that allows you to customize them for use with your patients.

 

Missouri Opens Novel Coronavirus Information Hotline

 

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) activated a statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. At 8 a.m. today, the hotline opened and can be reached at 877-435-8411. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

"Communication is vital to our response to this rapidly-evolving situation," said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS. "For several weeks, our COVID-19 webpage has been and continues to be a great resource for the public, but having the hotline as an additional resource will likely be invaluable as citizens seek guidance for their concerns."

 

To date, 46 patients in Missouri have been tested for the virus that causes COVID-19; one of those has tested positive.

 

"It is important to know what to do if you have concerns about an illness during this outbreak," said Williams. "For those who may be at risk for COVID-19, we encourage them to utilize this hotline or call their health care provider or local public health agency to inform them of their travel history and symptoms. They'll be instructed on how to receive care without exposing others to the possible illness."

 

Simple preventive actions that help prevent the spread of all types of respiratory viruses include:

 For more information, visit www.health.mo.gov/coronavirus or the CDC's COVID-19 website.

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Information Released by MAHC on March 4, 2020:

 

As a follow-up to my email yesterday, please find below two additional Home Care and Hospice COVID-19 resources as well as additional information from the CDC.

 

 

Two More Home Care and Hospice Resources

  1. Barbara Citarella of RBC Limited Healthcare & Management Consultants has developed a CHECK LIST with actions that agencies should be taking right now to prepare for COVID-19. The checklist helps agencies prioritize and organize activities related to an emergency preparedness plan for infectious diseases.
  2. The LHC Group, Inc. is sharing with MAHC members its POLICY and PROCEDURE for responding to COVID-19 for both staff and patients.
     

Additional CDC Information

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is promising more information to help clinicians treat and care for patients with coronavirus.

 

"It's very important clinicians have the information they need to make the best decisions possible for their patients," Nancy Messonnier, M.D., director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a media call Tuesday to provide an update on the response to the virus known as COVID-19.

 

In addition to the guidance for clinicians on the CDC website, the agency will hold a call for clinicians Thursday, March 5, from 2-3 p.m. (Eastern) on what they need to know to prepare for COVID-19.

 

The Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity call is expected to attract thousands of listeners as healthcare professionals try to stay current with the ever-changing coronavirus situation. The last call, held in late January at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, had more than 10,000 listeners, Messonnier said.

 

Clinicians can sign into the call where the CDC promises information on what they can do to prepare for COVID-19, including how to identify patients suspected of having the virus, apply infection prevention and control measures, assess risks for exposures, optimize the use of personal protective equipment supplies and manage and care for patients who are hospitalized or who remain at home.

 

RELATED: As coronavirus spreads, infectious disease doctors suggest travel history be made 5th vital sign

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Information Released by MAHC on March 3, 2020:

While there is a vast amount of information available, MAHC has compiled a variety of resources for home care providers to access related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

At this time, MAHC suggests that home care providers follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidance. As this situation is constantly evolving, we also recommend that you review the CDC's website periodically for updated information as well as the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website for Missouri specific information.


Novel Coronavirus Resource Information and Guidance

 

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: Missouri's resource page includes links to CDC and other information sites along with specific Missouri information/data.

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC's resource page includes what you should know about the virus, situation updates, and information for travelers, businesses, and others.

 

Home Care Specific Guidance:

Healthcare Guidance:

Location Guidance:

 

 

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Surveyors to Enforce CDC Guidance for the 2019 Coronavirus

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a letter to surveyors that addresses infection control adherence for health care facilities related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and reminds surveyors that providers must consider emerging infectious diseases in their emergency preparedness plans.

 

The letter includes interim guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for health care facility infection control procedures related to the 2019 nCoV. The CDC is currently advising adherence to Standard, Contact, and Airborne Precautions, including the use of eye protection. Health care staff should also adhere to CDC recommendations on standard hand hygiene practices, using alcohol-based hand rub/hand sanitizer as the preferred method of hand hygiene in most clinical situations. If hands are visibly soiled, wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Healthcare facilities should ensure that hand hygiene supplies are readily available.

 

CDC has also developed interim guidance for staff at local and state health departments, infection prevention and control professionals, healthcare providers, and healthcare workers who are coordinating the home care and isolation of people who are confirmed to have, or being evaluated for 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection.

 

Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services- OCR has issued guidance on ways that patient information may be shared so that the protections of the HIPAA Privacy Rule are not set aside during an emergency.

 

World Health OrganizationOn this website you can find information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce: The Chamber's "Understanding the Coronavirus" webinar, recorded on January 27 in partnership with CDC, discusses the impact of the virus on the private sector and what businesses should consider as they respond. 

 

U.S. Travel Association: