Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Important Resources

Visit this website daily for the latest information that NCHCFA has to share about COVID-19. As concerns arise with the emerging coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, we are working with our state partners, including the NC Division of Public Health to ensure nursing centers receive necessary guidance to prevent the spread of this disease. NCHCFA President & CEO Adam Sholar is also serving on the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force.


What’s New

05/28/2020 – AHCA Public Relations Toolkit (New Updates)

05/22/2020 – AHCA has Developed PPE Supplier List

05/04/2020 – NC Governor Signs Important Bills Passed by Legislature

04/27/2020 – NC Medicaid Special Bulletin COVID-19 #68

04/27/2020 – Waiver for Temporary Nurse Aide Services

04/11/2020 – Reporting COVID-19 to State Survey Agency

04/10/2020 – HHS Releases a Portion of the $100B COVID-19 Health Care Fund

04/09/2020 – CMS Accelerated Payment Program

04/03/2020 – CMS Issues COVID-19 Long Term Care Facility Guidance

04/01/2020 – CMS Updates PDPM ICD-10 Mappings for New COVID-19 Diagnosis Code

04/01/2020 – Change in Resource Request Process for Personal Protective Equipment in SNFs

On April 1st, the resource request process for EMS Systems changed and will no longer be submitted through your county emergency managers. This process change only relates to supplies for healthcare providers in the Hospital, EMS, and Long Term Care sectors. Their prioritization plan calls for fulfillment of scarce supplies in order to ensure urgent needs are met for those actively engaged in providing care for COVID-19 patients. This prioritization plan includes providing up to 7 days of inventory, when possible, for those that have only 96 hours of inventory remaining.

Requests will be vetted by ESF8 staff and the appropriate course of action will be taken based upon priority and available supply at the state’s Healthcare Preparedness Coalitions. No other processes have been revised at this time. As supplies continue to arrive in North Carolina, they will work towards fulfilling resource requests for all agencies. Healthcare providers are vital partners in our communities and will still require coordination and collaboration with Local Emergency Managers. It is not their intent to usurp the mutually beneficial relationships developed locally over the years but to help make the process more streamlined.

04/01/2020 – Memo on Eligibility Requirements for New SBA Loan Program Created by CARES Act

  • As a way of addressing some of the questions about the SBA sections of the CARES Act,  James Segroves with Reed Smith wrote a memo for members of the American Health Care Association (AHCA).  You can read this memo by clicking here.

04/01/2020 – Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response – U.S. DHHS

03/31/2020 – Palmetto GBA Revised Request for Accelerated/Advance Payment Form

03/30/2020 – Enhanced Medicaid Rates

In March, Medicaid increased nursing facility rates by 5% in recognition of the cost increases related to COVID-19. The enhanced rates have been posted here.

The March rate file also includes the enhanced April rates. NCTracks should have these rates as well. If providers bill at the higher rates, they should be paid at these rates in the next checkwrite.

03/29/2020 – Guidance – Testing for Healthcare Workers & Residents/Patients in Long Term Care Settings


Local Industries Shifting Manufacturing to Assist with the PPE Shortage in North Carolina

NCHCFA continues to work with county emergency management officials to get much needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to our members. In the interim, as we are made aware of any additional PPE availability that could benefit you, we will let you know.

We are exploring ways hospitals, SNFs, and other healthcare providers may be able to bulk order in various areas of the state, and more on that concept should be available soon. The NC Hospital Association (NCHA) has also made available to our members their resource list, which can be found here.

Several reputable sources have also informed NCHCFA of local industries that have/are shifting manufacturing to assist with the PPE shortage in our state. IMPORTANT NOTE – NCHCFA in NO WAY recommends, endorses, or approves specifications of ANY PPE and/or manufacturers.

IMPORTANT NOTE on behalf of AHCA/NCAL: Beware of scams when working with vendors offering PPE supplies

AHCA has developed a PPE supplier list that members may want to refer to when shopping for PPE here. The PPE vendors on the AHCA list have successfully served LTC providers and were recommended by providers.

Click here to see companies that are now manufacturing PPE to help those in the healthcare community.

If you are aware of any additional manufacturers that could assist our membership with PPE needs, please email Eric Kivisto at erick@nchcfa.org.


NCHCFA Email Communications – Week of May 25th


AHCA/NCAL Email Communications – Week of May 25th

Visit AHCA/NCAL for the most up to date information regarding COVID-19.

Email any additional questions to AHCA/NCAL staff at COVID19@ahca.org.


Section 1135 Waiver Flexibilities – North Carolina Coronavirus Disease 2019


Ancillary Services Guidance for Feeding Assistance

The document here contains necessary requirements and guidance for allowing non-nursing staff such as housekeepers or business office personnel to provide feeding assistance to persons who DO NOT have any difficulty eating, drinking, or swallowing. The document was approved by both Cindy Deporter, State Survey Director and Becky Wertz, Section Chief, Licensure and Certification Section, NCDHSR.


Childcare

We know many of our members are worried about ensuring their children have safe care while you and your teams continue providing critical services during this unprecedented crisis. To assist with this challenge, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the NC Department of Public Instruction are working with their networks of partners across the state to provide child care options to children of essential workers, which includes first responders, hospital staff, front-line healthcare providers, nursing and adult group home staff, child care program staff, food service staff and others working to keep our communities safe and healthy as we respond to COVID-19.

Parents and families with urgent childcare needs may call 1-888-600-1685 to find high-quality, safe childcare for infants through children age 12. We encourage you to share the hotline number and these handouts:


Governor’s Visitation Recommendations


NC DHHS Coronavirus Resources


NCHCFA Webcasts


Update From NCTracks


CMS Communications


NCHCFA Crisis Communication:

Given the public focus on Coronavirus and COVID-19, we recognize that many of the staff and residents in member facilities and their families are particularly focused on these developments. While we know your focus is rightly on the provision of needed health care services, and protecting your staff and residents, we want to aid in preparing from a communications perspective for the possibility of an occurrence of COVID-19 in your facility. The following information here has been provided to the Association by a crisis communications expert who is available to assist our members if necessary.


NC Division of Public Health

Guidance for Management of Scarce Resources

Guidance for both healthcare workers and facility owners/operators

Questions

If members have specific questions about COVID-19 or need assistance with risk assessment for a resident or staff member after talking to your local health department, the Communicable Disease Branch of the Epidemiology Section of the N.C. Division of Public Health, Department of Health & Human Services, has a 24-hour call line.  That number is: (919) 733-3419.  More information about the Branch is available here.


Statewide Program for Infection Control and Epidemiology (SPICE)