The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in a September 21, 2021 press release that it has added a new feature to its Care Compare website to make it easier to check COVID-19 vaccination rates for nursing home staff and residents. The information is intended to help people make informed decisions when choosing a nursing home. To access the vaccination rate data, search a nursing home’s zip code or city on Care Compare, click on the name of the nursing home, then scroll down to click “View COVID-19 Vaccination Rates” to see the data.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, in-person visitation is mandatory in California long term care facilities. However, a number of facilities are shutting down all in-person visitation indefinitely when a staff member or resident tests positive for COVID-19. Generally, these visitation lockouts are illegal. The only time a facility may temporarily shut down in-person visitation is when a local public health authority has directed that visitation be stopped or in nursing homes under very specific circumstances outlined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
AFL 20-26.10 From the California Department of Public Health September 3, 2021 TO: General Acute Care Hospitals SUBJECT: Suspension of Regulatory Enforcement of Hospital Requirements(This AFL supersedes AFL 20-26.9) AUTHORITY: Proclamation of Emergency, Executive Orders: N-39-20 (PDF), N-08-21 (PDF), and N-12-21 (PDF) All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL notifies hospitals of a temporary waiver of specified regulatory requirements due to the state of emergency related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.In accordance with the Executive Order N-12-21 (PDF), issued August 16, 2021, this AFL extends the temporary waiver related to space requirements until December 31, 2021.
By Tara Law, Time Magazine, September 2, 2021 Some two weeks before U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Aug. 18 that nursing homes must require their staff to get vaccinated or risk losing their Medicare and Medicaid funding, Genesis HealthCare, which manages about 250 facilities nationwide that offer long-term care and other services, had said its workers would need to be vaccinated.
California Department of Social Services PIN 21-40-ASC August 27, 2021 (Supersedes PIN 21-17.2-ASC in part) TO: ALL ADULT AND SENIOR CARE PROGRAM RESIDENTIAL LICENSEES Original signed by Kevin Gaines FROM: KEVIN GAINESDeputy DirectorCommunity Care Licensing Division SUBJECT: UPDATED STATEWIDE VISITATION WAIVER, AND TESTING AND VACCINATION VERIFICATION GUIDANCE FOR VISITORS RELATED TO CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) Provider Information Notice (PIN) Summary PIN 21-40-ASC supersedes in part PIN 21-17.2-ASC, dated May 14, 2021, related to the Visitation Waiver and processes for verifying the vaccination status of all visitors, COVID-19 diagnostic tests of visitors who are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated, and adds a requirement that licensees obtain and track documentation of vaccination or COVID-19 diagnostic tests of visitors who are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated, in order to have an indoor visit.
By Lena H. Sun, The Washington Post, August 27 2021 Judie Shape, center, at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash., visited last year through the window of her room with her daughter Lori Spencer, left, and son-in-law Michael Spencer. (Ted S. Warren/AP) The Biden administration does not plan to rely on national pharmacy chains to give booster doses of coronavirus vaccines to millions of nursing home residents this fall, as officials did last winter, federal health officials said.
California Department of Social Services PIN 21-39-ASC August 25, 2021 TO: ALL ADULT AND SENIOR CARE LICENSEESALL CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITY PROVIDERS Original signed by Kevin Gaines FROM: KEVIN GAINESDeputy DirectorCommunity Care Licensing Division SUBJECT: GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDER N-12-21 REGARDING CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) AND THE EXPIRATIONOF COVID-19 WAIVERS Provider Information Notice (PIN) Summary PIN 21-39-ASC notifies Adult and Senior Care (ASC) licensees and Continuing Care Retirement Community providers that pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-12-21, dated August 16, 2021, authority for COVID-19 related waivers was extended and the waivers will expire no later than December 31, 2021, or earlier as determined by California Department of Social Services (CDSS).
AFL 21-33 From the California Department of Public Health August 24, 2021 TO: All Facilities SUBJECT: Facility Emergency Contact and All Facilities Letter Recipient Information All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requesting updated emergency contact information from all facilities.CDPH is also requesting updated AFL recipient information. CDPH responds to numerous public health situations including natural and man-made disasters and other emergencies such as wildfires, floods, earthquakes, mass casualty incidents, power outages, drinking water incidents, and infectious disease outbreaks, etc.
AFL 20-30.5 From the California Department of Public Health August 24, 2021 TO: Primary Care Clinics (PCCs)Mobile Health Care Units (MHCUs) SUBJECT: Suspension of Regulatory Enforcement of Specified PCC and MHCU Requirements(This AFL supersedes AFL 20-30.4) AUTHORITY: Executive Orders N-35-20 (PDF) and N-08-21 (PDF) All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL notifies PCCs and MHCUs of a temporary waiver of specified regulatory requirements due to the state of emergency related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.For any clinics conducting COVID-19 vaccinations, treatment, and/or testing, the waiver is extended until September 30, 2021.
By Joanne Kenen, Allan James Vetal and Darius Tahir, Politico, August 24 2021 An image of veteran Harry Malandrinos is projected onto the home of his son, Paul Malandrinos, as he looks out a window with his wife, Cheryl, in Wilbraham, Mass., May 16, 2020. | David Goldman/AP Photo For years, the Veterans Affairs has spent upwards of $1 billion a year funding state-run nursing homes for veterans, while requiring only a single annual safety inspection, performed by an outside contractor.