How Many Staff Members are Vaccinated at Your Nursing Home?

It may be fewer than you would expect. According to federal data as of July 11, 2021, less than 80 percent of current nursing home staff in California were vaccinated. However, variation from facility to facility was extreme, ranging from 0 to 100 percent. While 827 California nursing homes reported that 75 percent or more of staff are vaccinated, over 350 facilities fall below that rate.

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CMS Restores Tougher Penalties for Nursing Home Violations

CONTACTS: Patricia McGinnis, Executive Director, CANHR(415) 974-5171 patm@canhr.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 28, 2021 Berkeley, CA – After a lawsuit filed in January 18, 2021 by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) and the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) challenging CMS’s 2017 policy limiting the types of civil money penalties (CMPs) that can be imposed against nursing facilities, CMS has reversed course and announced plans to impose much stiffer penalties for nursing facility violations.  Represented by attorneys from the AARP Foundation and the law firm of Constantine Cannon LLP, the lawsuit alleges that reduced fines put nursing facility residents’ lives at risk by weakening enforcement of the federal Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA).

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Nursing Homes May Face Steeper Safety Fines

By Reed Abelson, New York Times, July 28 2021 The Biden administration has quietly undone a Trump policy that severely restricted penalties imposed on facilities that violated safety standards. Maureen McKinney of Ellensburg, Wash., was “horrified” by the minimal penalty imposed at a nursing home where a Covid-19 outbreak claimed the lives of 15 residents, including her husband’s. 

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Weekly Reporting Related to Patient Discharges with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

AFL 21-25 From the California Department of Public Health July 23, 2021 TO: General Acute Care Hospitals SUBJECT: Weekly Reporting Related to Patient Discharges with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)  AUTHORITY:      Title 17 California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 2500 Title 22 CCR section 70737(a) Title 22 CCR section 70751 All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL requires that California hospitals report specified patient level information for each hospitalized person who tests positive for COVID-19 to assist the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to monitor the effectiveness of vaccines and assess the impact of COVID-19 on the health care system.

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Call for Specimens from Hospitalized Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Patients

AFL 21-24 From the California Department of Public Health July 22, 2021 TO: General Acute Care Hospitals Acute Psychiatric Hospitals SUBJECT:Call for Specimens from Hospitalized Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Patients All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL announces a request that facilities submit respiratory and/or serum specimens from hospitalized COVID-19 patients to assist the state in tracking COVID-19 variants.

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Ending of the Emergency Blanket Waiver of Minimum Data Set (MDS) Timeframe Requirements

AFL 21-23 From the California Department of Public Health July 22, 2021 TO: Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) Nursing Facilities (NF) Swing Bed Hospitals SUBJECT: Ending of the Emergency Blanket Waiver of Minimum Data Set (MDS) Timeframe Requirements ​AUTHORITY:     Title 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section 483.20 All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL informs SNFs that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ended the emergency blanket waiver for Title 42 CFR section 483.20, effective May 10, 2021.All SNFs are now required to complete and transmit MDS assessments timely, as required at Title 42 CFR section 483.20.  As part of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE) response, CMS waived the MDS timeframe requirements for Title 42 CFR section 483.20 for assessments to allow providers flexibility in completing and transmitting assessments.

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

AFL 20-75.1 From the California Department of Public Health July 22, 2021 TO: All Facilities SUBJECT: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak Investigation and Reporting Thresholds (This AFL supersedes AFL 20-75) ​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. This AFL notifies all facilities that the webpage for county COVID-19 case rates has changed.

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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 20-74.1 From the California Department of Public Health July 22, 2021 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 (This AFL supersedes AFL 20-74) All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL provides recommendations for PPE, resident placement/movement, and staffing based on the residents’ COVID-19 status.This revision updates the chart of recommendations to clarify when eye protections must be used and to align with the latest CalOSHA requirements no longer allowing extended use and reuse of respirators.

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The Current State of Visitation Rights in Long Term Care Facilities

Long term care residents were locked down and closed off from visitation in March 2020 at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, state regulators have relaxed the lockdown but continue to permit various levels of visitation restrictions that have frustrated residents and their loved ones. The goal of this town hall is to inform participants and viewers of the current state of the visitation rules, explain how advocacy can be used to gain more visitation access, and answer key visitation questions.

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Suspension of Professional Certification Requirements for Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs)

AFL 20-35.4 From the California Department of Public Health July 19, 2021 TO: All Facilities SUBJECT: Suspension of Professional Certification Requirements for Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) (This AFL supersedes AFL 20-35.3) ​AUTHORITY:      Proclamation of a State of Emergency (PDF), Executive OrderN-39-20 (PDF), and Executive Order N-08-21 (PDF)  All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary This AFL notifies all facilities of a temporary waiver of specified statutory and regulatory requirements for CNAs due to the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak.This AFL notifies all facilities that the temporary waiver of specified regulatory requirements contained in this AFL will expire September 30, 2021. This AFL informs applicants and certificate holders how to obtain/maintain an active/employable status after the expiration of the listed waivers on September 30, 2021.

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