Tag: Coronavirus

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 […]

CMS releases Medicare FAQ for COVID-19 payments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) for healthcare providers regarding Medicare payment for laboratory tests and other services related to the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The agency is receiving questions from providers and created this document to be transparent and share answers to some of the most […]

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 […]

With the coronavirus outbreak in mind, agencies should take steps to protect staff

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar declared a public health emergency Jan. 31, in response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus which started in China and has been identified in several cases in the U.S. The announcement serves as a prompt for agencies to review and update emergency plans and infection control […]

Coronavirus fears at work: What employers need to know to stay protected

News reports of deaths and illnesses from the rapidly spreading coronavirus get scarier every day. Millions of people are being quarantined. Foreign companies and governments are evacuating their people from hard-hit areas of China where the virus got its start. And even employees who don’t travel for work are getting anxious about traveling coworkers who […]