• CMS COVID-19 Nursing Homes Best Practices Toolkit and New QIN-QIO Virtual Assistance UPDATED (7/20)

    Tuesday, June 30, 2020 | CMS

    New tool provides innovative solutions for states and facilities to protect our nation’s vulnerable nursing home residents during emergency

    CMS has released a new toolkit (updated 6/29/20) developed to aid nursing homes, Governors, states, departments of health, and other agencies who provide oversight and assistance to these facilities, with additional resources to aid in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic within nursing homes. The toolkit builds upon previous actions taken by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which provide a wide range of tools and guidance to states, healthcare providers and others during the public health emergency. The toolkit is comprised of best practices from a variety of front line health care providers, Governors’ COVID-19 task forces, associations and other organizations, and experts, and is intended to serve as a catalogue of resources dedicated to addressing the specific challenges facing nursing homes as they combat COVID-19.

    “The coronavirus presents a unique challenge for nursing homes. CMS is using every tool at our disposal to protect our nation’s most vulnerable citizens and aid the facilities that care for them. This toolkit will support state, local leaders and nursing homes in identifying best practices to protect our vulnerable elderly in nursing homes” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.  

    The toolkit provides detailed resources and direction for quality improvement assistance and can help in the creation and implementation of strategies and interventions intended to manage and prevent the spread of COVID-19 within nursing homes. The toolkit outlines best practices for a variety of subjects ranging from infection control to workforce and staffing. It also provides contact information for organizations who stand ready to assist with the unique challenges posed by caring for individuals in long-term care settings. Each state was involved in the creation of this toolkit, resulting in a robust resource that may be leveraged by a variety of entities serving this vulnerable population.

    Additionally, CMS has contracted with 12 Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) to work with providers, community partners, beneficiaries and caregivers on data-driven quality improvement initiatives designed to improve the quality of care for beneficiaries across the United States. The QIN-QIOs are reaching out to nursing homes across the country to provide virtual technical assistance for homes that have an opportunity for improvement based on an analysis of previous citations for infection control deficiencies using publicly available data found on Nursing Home Compare.

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  • COVID-19 NHSN Nursing Home Data Will Be Publicly Reported Weekly (6/20)

    Monday, June 8, 2020 | CMS
    On June 4, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the first set of underlying coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) nursing home data. This data shows that as of May 31, 2020, about 13,600 nursing homes – approximately 88 percent of the 15,400 Medicare and Medicaid nursing homes – had reported the required data to the (CDC). These facilities reported over 95,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and almost 32,000 deaths. The next set of data will be updated in two weeks.  Going forward after that date, CMS plans to update the data weekly.
    On June 4, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the first set of underlying coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) nursing home data. This data shows that as of May 31, 2020, about 13,600 nursing homes – approximately 88 percent of the 15,400 Medicare and Medicaid nursing homes – had reported the required data to the (CDC). These facilities reported over 95,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and almost 32,000 deaths. The next set of data will be updated in two weeks.  Going forward after that date, CMS plans to update the data weekly.
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  • COVID-19 Targeted Inspection Results Will Post Monthly (6/20)

    Monday, June 8, 2020 | CMS

    On June 4, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)announced the release of the results from the targeted inspections announced on March 4, 2020, to allow inspectors to focus on the most serious health and safety threats like infectious diseases and abuse during the pandemic. Since March 4, CMS and its network of state-based inspectors have conducted over 8,300 surveys with the results of a total of 5,700 available as of June 4. CMS plans to post the results of the inspections monthly on an ongoing basis as they are completed.

    While the results of health inspections conducted on or after March 4, 2020 will be posted publicly, they will not be used to calculate a nursing home’s health inspection star ratings. Per CMS's April 24, 2020 memorandum, the inspection domain of the Nursing Home Compare website will be held constant temporarily due to the recent prioritization and suspension of certain surveys, to ensure the rating system reflects fair information for consumers.

    Targeted Inspection Results

     

    Memo # QSO 20-33-NH

    Posting Date 2020-06-04

    Fiscal Year 2020

    Summary

    • Nursing Home Inspections: CMS will post health inspection (i.e., surveys) results that were conducted on or after March 4th, 2020, which is the first date that CMS altered the way that inspections are scheduled and conducted. This includes inspections related to complaints and facility-reported incidents (FRIs) that were triaged at the Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) level, and the streamlined Infection Control inspection process that was developed based on the guidance for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

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  • CMS QSO Memo: Enhanced Enforcement Actions Based on Nursing Home COVID-19 Data and Inspection Results (6/20)

    Tuesday, June 2, 2020 | CMS

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled enhanced enforcement for nursing homes with violations of longstanding infection control practices. The enhanced and targeted accountability measures are based on early trends in the most recent data regarding incidence of COVID-19 in nursing homes, as well as data regarding the results of the agency’s targeted infection control inspections. CMS is increasing enforcement (e.g., civil money penalties (CMPs)) for facilities with persistent infection control violations, and imposing enforcement actions on lower level infection control deficiencies to ensure they are addressed with increased gravity.

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provided additional funding to CMS for necessary survey and certification work related to COVID-19, of which $80 million in new resources will be available for states to increase surveys. To ensure effective oversight is achieved, CMS will allocate the CARES Act funding based on performance-based metrics. States that have not completed 100 percent of focused infection control surveys of their nursing home by July 31, 2020 will be required to submit a corrective action plan to their CMS location outlining the strategy for completion of these surveys within 30 days.  If, after the 30-day period, states have still not performed surveys in 100 percent of nursing homes, their CARES Act fiscal year 2021 allocation may be reduced by 10 percent.  Subsequent 30-day extensions could result in an additional 5 percent reduction. These funds would then be redistributed to those states that completed 100 percent of their focused infection control surveys by July 31.

    Utilizing the CARES Act funding, states will be required to perform on-site surveys of nursing homes with previous COVID-19 outbreaks and will be required to perform on-site surveys (within three to five days of identification) of any nursing home with new COVID-19 suspected and confirmed cases.

    To help nursing homes implement infection control best practices, CMS will provide technical assistance through Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs). CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will continue to monitor the data it receives through the new nursing home COVID-19 surveillance system to identify nursing homes with outbreaks and work with Governor’s offices and states to keep nursing home residents safe.

    Since April 19, 2020, CMS has required nursing homes to inform, residents, their families, and representatives of COVID-19 cases in their facilities. For the first time, nursing homes are required to report COVID-19 cases and deaths directly to the CDC on an ongoing basis as the result of an unprecedented CMS regulatory requirement issued on May 1, 2020. The Trump Administration implemented the new reporting requirement to develop a robust federal disease surveillance system to quickly identify problem areas and inform future infection control actions. The reporting requirement applies to long-term care facilities only (also known as skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities, and generally as nursing homes). By law, CMS regulates and oversees nursing homes, which are certified to provide Medicare and/or Medicaid skilled nursing facility services. Therefore, the data does not include COVID-19 data from assisted living facilities, which are not regulated at the federal level.

    As of May 24, 2020, about 12,500 nursing homes – approximately 80 percent of the 15,400 Medicare and Medicaid nursing homes – had reported the required data to the CDC. These facilities reported over 60,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and almost 26,000 deaths. Of the nursing homes that reported data, approximately one in four facilities had at least one COVID-19 case, and approximately one in five facilities had at least one COVID-19 related death.  Early analysis shows that facilities with a one-star quality rating were more likely to have large numbers of COVID-19 cases than facilities with a five-star quality rating. CMS will take enforcement action against the nursing homes that have not reported data into the CDC as required under CMS participation requirements.

    CMS will post the underlying CDC-collected data on a link on Nursing Home Compare later this week, so the public can view general information of how COVID-19 has impacted nursing homes in a user-friendly format. The data will be broken down by state, number of residents and number of staff.  The data will be searchable by facility name and will be downloadable so researchers and other stakeholders can perform their own in-depth analysis.  CMS will update the data weekly. CMS will also post a link to the data on the home page of the Nursing Home Compare website so patients, residents, and families can easily find it. Nursing Home Compare is a valuable tool for patients, residents, and families to understand the quality of nursing homes and to support their healthcare decisions. Adding this information only increases its value and reinforces CMS’s commitment to transparency.

    CMS is ratcheting up penalties for noncompliance with infection control to help prevent backsliding, improve accountability, and ensure prompt compliance. Since February 2020 CMS has provided over 13 guidance documents and facts sheets pertaining to infection control and conducted weekly calls with nursing homes to share best practices from the field. The enhanced enforcement actions will increase penalties for nursing homes have had past infection control deficiencies.

    As part of CMS’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency prioritized the types of nursing home inspections that take place. On March 4, 2020 CMS prioritized inspections to allow inspectors to focus on the most serious health and safety threats like infectious diseases and abuse. On March 23, CMS suspended certain inspections to increase our focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Since March 4, CMS and its network of state-based inspectors have conducted over 8,300 surveys with the results of a total of 5,700 available today. There is currently wide variation in the number of focused infection control surveys of nursing homes performed by states, between 11.4 percent and 100 percent, with a national average of approximately 54.1 percent. CMS plans to post the results of the inspections later this week, on a monthly basis as they are completed.

    All of this information are being used to strengthen CMS enforcement action going forward, such that nursing homes are held accountable for resident care. Older Americans are particularly vulnerable to complications arising from the virus and nursing home residents have been uniquely affected. The Trump Administration is intensely focused on protecting this population, but it ultimately falls to the nursing homes themselves to ensure they provide care compliant with essential health and safety requirements.

    CMS is also providing additional support and technical assistance to low performing nursing homes through its QIOs. QIOs are organizations composed of health quality experts and clinicians that have experience in helping healthcare provider to improve the quality of care delivered to people with Medicare. CMS has now charged the QIOs to focus their efforts on providing education and training to all nursing homes in the country.  This will include weekly National Infection Control Training, which focuses on all aspects of infection control, prevention and management to help nursing homes prevent the transmission of COVID-19. 

    QIOs are also providing direct assistance to small and rural nursing homes and those serving vulnerable populations in areas where access to care is limited. The QIOs will help them understand and comply with CMS and CDC reporting requirements and, in some cases, they will provide on-site support to help nursing homes that have been identified as having the greatest needs in infection control. CMS will be working with Governors’ offices to direct QIOs to those nursing homes that have significant needs and have had outbreaks. QIOs will help these facilities create an action plan and implement specific steps to establish a strong infection control and surveillance program.

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  • Tuesday March 17: CDC WIll Hold COVID-19 Call for Nursing Homes

    Sunday, March 15, 2020 | CDC

    Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Update and Information for Long-term Care Facilities

    During this COCA Call, presenters will focus on current information about COVID-19 as it relates to long-term care facilities, including nursing homes. Topics will include infection prevention and control guidance, steps facilities should take to prepare, and available resources.

    Special Request: Due to the high demand we anticipate for this COCA Call, we kindly ask participants to access it in a group format, if possible, to allow for the maximum number of people to participate.

     

    Watch on Facebook: You may also participate in this COCA Call by joining COCA's Facebook Live.  

     

    Advanced registration is not required.

     

    Continuing Education will not be offered for this COCA Call. 

     

    There will only be a few slides for this COCA Call. Slides will not advance during the presentation portion of this webinar. You can find the slides under the "Call Materials" tab here.   


    Date: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

    Time: 2:00pm–3:00pm (ET)

    Please click the link below to join:
    https://zoom.us/j/148725646

    Or iPhone one-tap:
    US: +16468769923,,148725646# or +16699006833,,148725646#   

    Or Telephone:
    US: +1 646 876 9923 or +1 669 900 6833 

    Webinar ID: 148 725 646

    International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/anixAVglV

    If you are unable to attend this live COCA Call, it will be available to view on-demand a few hours after the call. 

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  • Developing a Restful Environment Action Manual (DREAM) Toolkit From CMS (2/20)

    Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | CMS

    As many as 70% of adults with dementia experience sleep disturbances, which are associated with various negative health outcomes. High quality sleep is necessary for optimal cognitive and physical functioning, especially for residents who already experience cognitive decline due to dementia. The DREAM Toolkit provides educational material and practical tools for nursing home staff to help all residents living with dementia improve sleep quality. Nursing homes can choose from a variety of strategies in the DREAM Toolkit to help improve quality of life and quality of care, especially for residents living with dementia.

    The DREAM Toolkit consists of the following components:

    1) Implementation Guide

    2) Handbook

    3) Sleep Matters Video: https://youtu.be/2Ub55iKej84  

    4) Pocket Guide for Clinical Teams

    5) Sleep Environment Improvement Tool

    6) Resident Preferences Tool

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  • Head to Toe Infection Prevention (H2T) Toolkit From CMS (2/20)

    Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | CMS

    Infections comprise a large share of adverse events in nursing homes. The Head to Toe Infection Prevention Toolkit contains educational materials and practical tools to support the clinical team in providing person-centered care that helps prevent and control common infections like pneumonia, skin infections, and urinary tract infections. The Toolkit aims to educate licensed nurses and nurse aides on infection prevention practices and provide tools that can be integrated into their daily work.

    The H2T Toolkit consists of the following components:

    1) Implementation Guide

    2) Infection Prevention Handbook

    3) Staff Presentation

    4) Resource for Residents and Loved Ones

    5) Observation Guide

    6) Customizing Care Tool

    7) Suspected Infection Investigation Tool

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  • Do You Know Who Your New QIN-QIO Is? (2/20)

    Wednesday, February 5, 2020 | Staff

    In November 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services quietly implemented the 12th Statement of Work for the Quality Improvement Network Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs).

    This five-year contract includes a shift in how/where the QIN-QIOs operate. There are now 14 Medicare-funded QIN-QIOs nationwide. For example, IPRO is a lead contractor partnering with two other QIOs to cover 11 states and the District of Columbia. IPRO will direct activities in New York, New Jersey, and Ohio; Healthcentric Advisors will cover all six New England states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island); and Qlarant will handle Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.

    "QIN-QIOs serving under the 12th Statement of Work will provide customized quality improvement to nursing homes and providers, serving rural communities and the most vulnerable populations. Through this body of work, CMS is focusing on results, protecting taxpayer dollars, and most importantly, ensuring the safety and quality of care delivered to every Medicare beneficiary," says HealthCentric Advisors.

     The QIN-QIOs will address nursing home and community coalition quality improvement in the following areas:

    • Improving Behavioral Health Outcomes – Including Opioid Misuse
    • Increasing Patient Safety
    • Increasing Chronic Disease Self-Management
    • Increasing the Quality of Care Transitions
    • Improving Nursing Home Quality
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  • AHRQ 2019 Chartbook on Patient Safety (10/19)

    Monday, October 28, 2019 | AHRQ

    This Chartbook on Patient Safety includes a section with results from the National Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety:

    National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report

    This Patient Safety chartbook is part of a family of documents and tools that support the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR). The QDR includes annual reports to Congress mandated in the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-129). This chartbook includes a summary of trends across measures of patient safety from the QDR and figures illustrating select measures of patient safety. A PowerPoint version is also available that users can download for presentations.

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  • CMS Dementia Care Resources Webpage (10/19)

    Friday, October 25, 2019 | CMS

    CMS has established a Dementia Care Resources page to provide information that was previously housed at the National Nursing Home Quality Improvement Campaign. Additional resources are available through the QIO program.


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