Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak Investigation and Reporting Thresholds

AFL 20-75 From the California Department of Public Health September 22, 2020 TO: All Facilities SUBJECT: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak Investigation and Reporting Thresholds ​AUTHORITY:     Title 17 California Code of Regulations (CCR) sections 2500, 2501, and 2502; Title 22 CCR sections 70737, 70739, 72523, 72539, and 72541 All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL reminds licensed health facilities of requirements to report outbreaks and unusual infectious disease occurrences to their local health department (LHD) and Licensing and Certification District Office and provides investigation and reporting thresholds for reporting for COVID-19.

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Recommendations for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Resident Placement/Movement, and Staffing in Skilled Nursing Facilities

AFL 20-74 From the California Department of Public Health September 22, 2020 TO: Skilled Nursing Facilities SUBJECT: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Recommendations for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Resident Placement/Movement, and Staffing in Skilled Nursing Facilities ​All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL provides recommendations for PPE, resident placement/movement, and staffing based on the residents’ COVID-19 status.

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Advance Care Planning, Physician’s Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

AFL 20-73 From the California Department of Public Health September 22, 2020 TO: Skilled Nursing Facilities SUBJECT: Advance Care Planning, Physician’s Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) ​AUTHORITY:     Title 22 California Code of Regulations section 72527 All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL provides guidance for confirming resident treatment wishes during the COVID-19 pandemic through proactive advance care planning.

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California’s Deadliest Spring in 20 Years Suggests COVID Undercount

By Phillip Reese, CaliforniaHealthline, September 21 2020 The first five months of the COVID-19 pandemic in California rank among the deadliest in state history, deadlier than any other consecutive five-month period in at least 20 years. And the grim milestone encompasses thousands of “excess” deaths not accounted for in the state’s official COVID death tally: a loss of life concentrated among Blacks, Asians and Latinos, afflicting people who experts say likely didn’t get preventive medical care amid the far-reaching shutdowns or who were wrongly excluded from the coronavirus death count.

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‘Quality of Life is Medically Necessary’: What Nursing Home Residents’ Families Want in a Post-COVID World

By Alex Spanko, Skilled Nursing News, September 20, 2020 For Melody Taylor Stark, navigating life after her husband Bill required long-term nursing care hasn’t always been easy, but with the help of some caring staffers and a little bit of creativity, the couple was able to settle into something like normalcy. Friday nights out at a restaurant became takeout shared over a table that the facility’s staff reserved just for them, off in a private room with a tablecloth and flowers.

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A tale of two Southern California nursing homes in the era of coronavirus

By Brenda Gazzar, Los Angeles Daily News, September 16 2020 One facility was hit hard – 50-plus COVID cases and more than a dozen deaths. Another endured only 3 cases and just one patient died. Many factors likely figure in the difference. Administrator Hrag Bekerian felt confident, he said, that they were taking the right precautions at Gem Transitional Care Center before the coronavirus struck.

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Federal Memo Restores Nursing Home Visits!

On September 17th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a memo to the states, restoring visitation in nursing homes.  CMS is requiring facilities to permit visitation whenever a facility has had no new COVID outbreaks for 14 days and the community positivity rate is less than 10%.  Facilities required to permit visitation are encouraged to have outdoor visitation, weather permitting, but are also required to accommodate indoor visitation, including in resident rooms, when outdoor visits are unavailable.

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CMS Announces Transformative and Innovative Specialty Care Models for Medicare Beneficiaries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 18, 2020 Contact: CMS Media Relations(202) 690-6145 | CMS Media Inquiries CMS Announces Transformative New Model of Care for Medicare Beneficiaries with Chronic Kidney Disease Model focuses on reducing costs and improving quality of care for patients Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it has finalized the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Treatment Choices (ETC) Model, to improve or maintain the quality of care and reduce Medicare expenditures for patients with chronic kidney disease.

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CMS Announces Innovative Payment Model to Improve Care, Lower Costs for Cancer Patients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 18, 2020 CMS Announces Innovative Payment Model to Improve Care, Lower Costs for Cancer Patients Radiation Oncology Model will modernize Medicare payments for radiotherapy services Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a new Innovation Center model expected to improve the quality of care for cancer patients receiving radiotherapy and reduce Medicare expenditures through bundled payments that allow providers to focus on delivering high-quality treatments.

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More visitors needed to stem COVID-19 in nursing homes

Commentary by Thomas D. Elias, Napa Valley Register, September 17 2020 FILE – In this April 8, 2020 file photo, a patient at the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riverside, Calif., is evacuated to a waiting ambulance. Officials in Riverside County have filed a complaint over conditions at the skilled nursing facility that was evacuated after staff failed to show up for work during a coronavirus outbreak.

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