Category: Skilled Nursing Facility

CMS releases protective mask guidance for SNFs

CMS expanded the range of acceptable facemasks and respirators that can temporarily be used in SNFs in a March 10 memo. “CMS is working in lockstep with the CDC, FDA, and other Trump Administration partners to protect both patients and the dedicated healthcare workers who are battling the spread of Coronavirus,” said CMS Administrator Seema […]

WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11. “This is the first pandemic caused by coronavirus,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on a conference call. “We’re deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” Tedros said before officially declaring the […]

CMS releases new guidelines for SNF visitations

CMS released updated guidelines regarding COVID-19 in a March 9 memo advising SNFs “actively screen and restrict” any visitors the meet the following criteria: Signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat. In the last 14 days, has had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis […]

PPE shortage a concern, says chief medical officer of AHCA/NCAL

A March 6 press call held by Dr. David Gifford, chief medical officer of AHCA/NCAL, revealed that one of the larger issues SNFs and healthcare facilities at large may have is a shortage of gowns, masks, and other personal protective equipment (PPE), much of which usually ships from China. “It’s one of the issues that […]

CMS to exclusively focus surveys on infection control, other serious safety threats

CMS announced this week that, effective immediately, state survey agencies and accrediting organizations will suspend all non-emergency inspections across the country to allow inspectors to turn their focus toward infection control and other serious threats to safety, such as abuse. This change is in direct response to the threat COVID-19 spread. CMS is also issuing three […]

CMS releases additional infection control guidance in light of COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services sent out a notice today regarding extra infection control guidance in light of COVID-19. An outbreak of the virus at Life Care in Kirkland, Wash. that resulted in seven deaths with eight sick has prompted SNFs to take notice and CMS to issue new guidance that includes specific […]

COVID-19 outbreak reported in Washington SNF

A COVID-19 outbreak has been reported at Life Care Center, a SNF in Kirkland, Washington. To date, approximately 50 residents and employees have fallen ill with an unknown respiratory illness, and are being tested for the new coronavirus. Three of the facility’s residents that tested positive for the virus have since passed away. SNF residents […]

WHO releases COVID-19 interim coding guidance

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) a public health emergency of international concern on January 30. The WHO Family of International Classifications (WHOFIC) Network Classification and Statistics Advisory Committee (CSAC) subsequently created a new ICD-10 code for the disease: U07.1, 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease. Complete information regarding the COVID-19 coding will be […]

CMS to host dementia care toolkits call

CMS will host a call on March 3 from to discuss dementia care toolkits for SNFs. Topics discussed on the call will include: Head-to-Toe Infection Prevention: Easy to access best practices for direct care staff to prevent infections before they occur Developing a Restful Environment Action Manual: Non-pharmacological approach to improve the quality of life […]

CMS selects applicants to participate in new Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model

CMS announced on February 27 the selection of 205 applicants to participate in Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model, a new payment model that gives flexibility to ambulance staff when addressing emergency needs of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. This voluntary, five-year payment model will allow participating EMS to treat SNF residents within the facility following […]