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Archive June 2021

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MMSF Scholarship Fund – Golf Tournament Fundraiser

The Mike McNeil Scholarship Fund promotes careers in long term care through scholarships for individuals affiliated with MHCA long term care facilities. We will be hosting a fundraising golf tournament on Tuesday, October 5, in conjunction with the Fall Health Care Conference & Expo, October 5-7, at the Samoset Resort, Rockport.

We have sponsorship packages that include either a 2 or 4 person entry. The cost for the tournament is $170 per person, which includes: greens fees for this beautiful 18-hole course, golf cart rental, swag bag, and a box lunch. Prizes include individual awards for closest to the pin on designated hole and longest drive on designated hole. Team awards will be given for first and second gross and net scores.

To register and/or sponsor this event, go to https://www.mehca.org/mmsfgolf.

All proceeds from the tournament benefit the Scholarship Fund. Administered by MHCA in partnership with BerryDunn, the Fund promotes careers in long term care through scholarships for individuals affiliated with Maine’s long term care facilities.
 
Although your sponsorship payment does not qualify as a tax-deductible charitable contribution, this sponsorship may be tax-deductible as an ordinary trade or business expense under IRC Section 162. None of the payment will be utilized for lobbying or political purposes. Please consult your tax advisor.
 
Staff Contact: Dianne Chicoine
Exhibitor/Sponsorship/Golf Coordinator
Director of Business & Information Services
Email: dchicoine@mehca.org

Comply with OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards by July 6

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) to address exposure to COVID-19 to workers in health care settings. These standards apply to skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities, and Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled (ID/DD).  
 

Employers must comply with most of these standards by July 6, 2021. There are exceptions to the sections on physical barriers, ventilation, and training, which must comply by July 21, 2021. 
 
In addition, a 
webinar reviewing the ETS and the implications for AHCA/NCAL members is available. 

Many of these ETS standards are already required under CDC, CMS, or other public health guidance. AHCA/NCAL recommends that providers start by:  
Identifying a COVID-19 site safety coordinator and downloading the 
COVID-19 plan template.  
Providers should use OSHA’s COVID-19 Healthcare Worksite Checklist & Employee Job Hazard Analysis to identify what is already in place in their facility and plan and prioritize implementing what is not.  OSHA has many resources on their ETS website to help employers meet these standards.  
 
OSHA also offers an  On-Site Consultation Program. This free and confidential consultation program provides occupational safety and health services to small- and medium-sized businesses. Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Resources are also available on the AHCA/NCAL website.    

AHCA/NCAL encourages providers to document efforts of implementation and monitoring. This can be shared with an OSHA inspector if an onsite visit occurs to show what is in place, what’s in progress, and the overall good faith efforts to meet the standards. For additional assistance, providers check out the OSHA ETS FAQs?.

Staff Contact: dwatford@mehca.org

CMS Updates Emergency Preparedness Guidance: QSO-20-41

On June 21, 2021 CMS released revisions to QSO-20-41 Guidance related to Emergency Preparedness- Exercise Exemption based on a Facility’s Activation of their Emergency Plan. CMS regulations for Emergency Preparedness (EP) require facilities to conduct exercises to test the facility’s EP plan to ensure that it works and that staff are trained appropriately about their roles and the facility’s processes. During or after an actual emergency, the regulations allow for a one-year exemption from the requirement that the facility perform testing exercises (next required full-scale exercise-not the exercise of choice, based on the facility’s 12-month exercise cycle).Within this most recent revision CMS has provided guidance to state survey agencies on the exemption due to continued public health emergency  (PHE) status.

As the PHE continues, many facilities continue to operate under their respective activated emergency plans. Therefore, CMS is providing additional guidance related to the exercise requirements (full-scale/functional drills and exercises) for inpatient providers/suppliers. The updated guidance only applies if a facility is still currently operating under its activated emergency plan. Facilities which have resumed normal operating status (not under their activated emergency plans) and were exempted from a full-scale exercise for its 2020 cycle, must conduct a full-scale exercise or an individual facility-based exercise for its next cycle.

For Inpatient Providers and Suppliers (§418.113(d)(2)(inpatient hospice); §441.184(d) (PRTFs), §482.15(d)(2) (hospitals); §483.73(d)(2)(LTC facilities); §483.475(d)(2)(ICFs/IID); and §485.625(d)(2)(CAHs): If the facility is still operating under its currently activated emergency plan, any currently-activated emergency plan will be recognized by surveyors as having met the full-scale exercise requirement for 2021 (even if it claimed the exemption for the 2020 full-scale exercise).
If the facility claimed the full-scale exercise exemption in 2020 based on its activated emergency plan and has since resumed normal operating status, the inpatient provider/supplier is expected to complete its required full-scale exercise in 2021, unless it has reactivated its emergency plan for an actual emergency during its 12-month cycle for 2021.

In addition, CMS released the revised State Operations Manual, Appendix Z on March 26, 2021.

CMS did provide an example timeline for consideration to clarify this requirement and exemption. See below for example:

Requirement & Guidance: Inpatient providers must conduct a full-scale exercise (or individual facility-based exercise when a full-scale is not available) annually pursuant to standard (d)(2) of their respective “Emergency Preparedness” regulation, and also conduct any one exercise of the “exercises of choice” which include another full-scale or individual facility-based exercise, table top exercise, workshop or mock drill annually.

The Exemption Clause: In the event a facility activates its emergency program due to an actual emergency, the inpatient provider would be exempt from engaging in its next required community based full-scale exercise or individual facility-based exercise following the onset of the emergency event. Facilities must be able to demonstrate through written documentation, that they activated their program due to the emergency.
Example Scenario(s):

Scenario #1. Facility Y conducted a table-top exercise in January 2020 as the exercise of choice and was exempt from its scheduled full-scale exercise in November 2020 due to the COVID-19 PHE (that began in March 2020) and activation of its emergency plan. The facility continues to operate under activation of its emergency plan during its 2021 exercise cycle (due to continued surge of COVID-19 in their local area). When must the facility conduct its next required full-scale exercise?

Answer: If the facility is still operating under its activated emergency plan, any currently activated emergency plan will be recognized by surveyors as having met the full-scale exercise requirement for 2021.

Scenario #2. Facility Y conducted a table-top exercise in January 2020 as the exercise of choice and was exempt from its scheduled full-scale exercise in November 2020 due to the COVID-19 PHE (that began in March 2020) and activation of its emergency plan. The facility in March 2021 resumed normal operations and is no longer operating under activation of its emergency plan. When must the facility conduct its next required full-scale exercise?

Answer: Since the facility is no longer under its activated emergency plan, the facility is required to conduct its full-scale exercise or individual facility-based exercise.

Staff Contact: dwatford@mehca.org

 

OADS Congregate Care Settings Calls Move to Monthly as Needed

The standing Wednesday OADS congregate care settings call will move to a monthly schedule as needed beginning in July. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 7th from 1:00-1:30 PM. We do not expect the ZOOM link to change but OADS will send a reminder email as the time approaches. In the meantime, if you have questions, please feel free to contact OADS at:  OADS@maine.gov, or the CDC at MECDC.HAI@maine.gov

Staff Contact: ngrosso@mehca.org

Watch the #GetVaccinated Virtual Townhall for LTC Staff

Yesterday, AHCA/NCAL hosted a live virtual townhall to help answer questions among long term care staff on the COVID-19 vaccines. Hundreds of caregivers asked important questions to a panel of medical professionals: Dr. David Gifford, chief medical officer for AHCA/NCAL and Dr. Sarah Berry, an academic geriatrician at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston. Participants also heard from three frontline caregivers located across the U.S. who shared their reasons for getting vaccinated. 

The event was part of the association's #Ge?tVaccinated campaign, which encourages staff, residents and families to sign up for the vaccine and offers credible information to help individuals make an informed decision. The event was also in support of the White House's National Month of Action to encourage as many Americans as possible to get at least one shot by July 4.

Watch a recording of the townhall on Facebook or YouTube and share it with your colleagues and friends!
Already vaccinated? Inspire others by sharing your story.

Staff Contact: ngrosso@mehca.org

Maine Activates Health Care Worker COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard

As anticipated, the Maine CDC and DLC have published the public dashboard that provides medical facility and long term care facility staff vaccination rates. The dashboard shows the percentage of facility staff who are fully vaccinated, as reported by each facility on a monthly basis.

This information is updated monthly by the 7th of each month with COVID-19 staff vaccination data as of the last day of the previous month. Facilities required to report include nursing homes, ambulatory surgical centers (ASC), and certain assisted housing providers, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF/IDD). Facility “staff” includes all employees, temporary or contracted personnel, and volunteers and students who are providing care, services, and interacting with facility residents and staff.

To review this information, see:
https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/immunization/publications/health-care-worker-covid-vaccination-rates.shtml

If you believe there is an error in your facility’s data, please contact MHCA for assistance.

Staff Contact: ngrosso@mehca.org 

OADS Seeking Input on Standardized Needs Assessment

OADS and the Human Services Research (HSRI) staff invites members to provide input on the State’s needs assessment process. Specifically, HSRI will present four (4) needs assessment tools to consider as OADS moves forward on the implementation of a Standardized Needs Assessment. The purpose of these meetings is to share information on the tools being reviewed and to get your input on the tools for selection by OADS later this summer. There is a choice of two (2) meeting times below:
 
Tuesday June 29th from 4:30 to 5:30 PM
Thursday July 8th from 11-12:00 Noon
 
These will be held over Zoom using the following link:
 
Join Zoom Meeting https://mainestate.zoom.us/j/82116629132
 
Meeting ID: 821 1662 9132
 
If you require accommodations to these meetings (closed captioning or interpreter services), please contact Craig Donnan – Craig.Donnan@maine.gov by June 25th. 

Staff Contact: ngrosso@mehca.org 

ASHCAE Honors MHCA President and CEO Rick Erb

Rick Erb, MHCA President and CEO, was honored by his peers this week in a presentation during a meeting of the American Society of Health Care Administration Executives (ASHCAE). AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson thanked Rick for his 20 years of service and positive impact on long term care both in Maine and nationally. Parkinson credited Rick with improving the Association’s financial stability, achieving a 99% nursing home membership retention rate, and ethically representing MHCA members over the course of many successes.
 

Rick’s Connecticut counterpart, Matthew Barrett, President/CEO, spoke on behalf of the New England region of health care associatio
ns. Of Rick’s success, Barrett said, “In the years I’ve known you, I’ve been most impressed with your consistently measured, deliberate, intelligent response and demeanor. These qualities have contributed our collective successes. We congratulate and thank you.”
 
MHCA staff joins ASHCAE in wishing Rick well in his future endeavors.




Staff Contact: ngrosso@mehca.org 

 

Mike McNeil Cash Calendar fundraiser gets underway, purchase yours before July 16th!

MHCA is excited to announce the return of the CASH CALENDAR FUNDRAISER, back by popular demand, featuring a total prize payout of $3000! Early last week fundraiser packets were mailed to Administrators, be sure to check with yours to take part!

Here is how it works:
  • Each member facility is asked to sell 10 CASH Calendars at $10 each for a total of $100.
  • You may sell them individually or buy them to give as staff incentives; either way please send one total payment of $100 to MHCA. If you wish to sell more, great! Feel free to photocopy the calendars and collection sheet.
  • Checks can be made payable to MHCA (with MMSF noted in the memo line) OR pay online at www.mehca.org/mmsf. Please do not send cash through the mail.
  • The deadline for calendar sales is July 16th. Submit your payment and collection sheet together to MHCA, 317 State Street, Augusta, ME 04330.
  • Calendars will be drawn the entire month of August, including weekends! One lucky person will win $500! Entrants may win multiple times during the month.
  • Tune in to the MHCA Facebook page & weekly E-News for winner announcements.
  • Prizes will be mailed to winners’ home addresses captured on the collection sheet (MHCA cannot send prizes to facility addresses) by September 15th.
Please feel free to contact aellis@mehca.org or ngrosso@mehca.org (623-1146) if you have questions or comments or need additional marketing cards or CASH calendars.
 
THANK YOU for supporting the Mike McNeil Scholarship Fund!
 
Staff Contact: aellis@mehca.org 

Staffing Transitions: New Faces at MHCA

Dear Members,

It is with great enthusiasm that I write to you all for the first time! I began my transition to MHCA last week and have greatly enjoyed meeting the staff and getting acquainted with the administrative processes of the organization. Rick has been a tremendous help in the transition and has generously shared his time and knowledge with me and I am grateful for the time to overlap with him. I look forward to meeting you all the Fall conference in October. Prior to that, I encourage members to contact me by phone or email.

I also wanted to introduce Lori Canty, our new administrative support professional. Lori joined MHCA this week and will be working 30 hours per week providing administrative support and overseeing accounts receivable. Lori is highly organized, and a team player and we are thrilled to have her join our staff. Her name may be familiar as she has provided temporary administrative support previously. Please join me in welcoming Lori to the MHCA team.
 
Staff contact: awesthoff@mehca.org
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