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Today's COVID-19 Report: Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Wednesday, November 18 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Today's Report

LeadingAge Ohio all-member Q&A tomorrow

Tomorrow, November 19 at 9:30AM, LeadingAge Ohio will host its bi-monthly all-member webinar focused entirely on member questions and answers. These Q&A webinars are held on the first and third Thursday of the month.

During the unscripted, 30-minute webinar, LeadingAge Ohio policy and regulatory experts will field questions related to testing, telehealth, visitation, vaccination and other fast-moving topics. Join Kathryn Brod, Anne Shelley, Stephanie DeWees and Susan Wallace to hear Q&A on survey expectations, visitation logistics, testing processes, reporting and more.

Members still have time to send questions in advance to the COVID-19 mailbox. Alternately, members will be able to chat in questions during the webinar.  Registration is required, but there is no fee to participate.

NEW: COVID nursing home toolkit on testing 

LeadingAge is pleased to announce the COVID-19 Nursing Home Toolkits and Resources webpage. This series of toolkits, developed with Pathway Health, will be available exclusively to members of LeadingAge. The first of the series is the Testing Toolkit. This toolkit has 13 sections focusing on testing policies, learning and leader’s guide, competencies, pre- and post-testing, outbreak investigation, swabbing collection, and billing. 

As previously reported in Monday's COVID-19 Report, LeadingAge Ohio has also developed a COVID-19 Reporting Grid as a tool to assist members in navigating the where, when, and what on requirements for reporting test results, PPE supplies, and other COVID-related topics. The grid is a response to members’ requests for help navigating a complex web of state and federal reporting requirements which often vary by provider type, and at times, have changed day-to-day.

Thanksgiving plan survey results

Last week, 113 members across the country participated in the LeadingAge Community Holiday Plan Survey. This survey gave LeadingAge an important “pulse check” on members’ plans for resident and staff travel, on-property gatherings and visitors, and “return to work” or “return to campus” policies. Members can read the summary here. As a reminder, here is the CDC guidance on Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings. Finally, here is a COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool from Georgia Institute of Technology. The map allows users to plug in the number of people for a planned gathering and the location to figure out the risk level of the event. The interactive tool’s lead designer will be a guest on the LeadingAge Update call on December 2.

State-supported testing schedule for November 23 - December 18

The next four-week test schedule for November 23 through December 18 is available here. Moving forward, please pick up the facility’s test schedule via the Long-Term Care Facility Testing Schedule utility located on the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) website.

Note that there is no polymerase chain reaction (PCR) specimen collection planned for Wednesday, November 25 and Thursday, November 26. Please ensure you test in alignment with this schedule.

Lastly, the test schedule is reflective of the state-supported selection your facility chose via the opt-in/opt-out survey. The facility will receive the following supplies based on the option selected:

Feel free to email any questions or concerns to

Bereavement Forum taking place December 8

On December 8, LeadingAge Ohio will host the final Bereavement Professionals Networking Forum which brings together chaplain and mental health professionals serving aging Ohioans across the Ohio. This month, the forum will hear from Maren Simon, Bereavement Counselor with Hospice of Northwest Ohio, who will share how holiday rituals can complicate grief and ways to continue to honor loved ones through observed traditions. Attendees will also share  their approaches to these challenges in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on traditional family and social gatherings. Furthermore, Ohio’s hospitals are experiencing an elevated need for trauma-informed grief support for families whose loved ones die in the hospital. The forum will provide an open forum for Ohio’s frontline grief responders to share ideas and local partnerships.

To register for the forum, click here.

CMS to retire the original Compare Tools on December 1

In early September, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Care Compare on, which streamlines eight original health care compare tools. Since then, facilities have had the opportunity to use and familiarize themselves with Care Compare while having the option to use the original compare tools, too.

The eight original compare tools – like Nursing Home Compare, Hospital Compare, Physician Compare – will be retired on December 1, ending this transition period. If you haven’t been using Care Compare, you are urged to:

Care Compare offers a new design that makes it easier to find the same information that’s on the original compare tools. It gives patients and caregivers one user-friendly place to find cost, quality of care, service volume, and other CMS quality data to help make informed health care decisions.

Please remember that when the eight original compare tools are retired, information about health care providers and CMS quality data will remain on Care Compare, as well as via download on the Provider Data Catalog on Fully transitioning to these tools does not change how CMS measures quality.

Hospice Election Statement Addendum educational opportunities; register early

The hospice Medicare Administrative Contractor's (MACs) (i.e. NGS, CGS & Palmetto GBA) have worked collaboratively to develop and offer two upcoming live educational sessions regarding the Hospice Election Statement Addendum.   

Below are links for both sessions that you can register through. Just a reminder that although the National Government Services (NGS) is offering these courses, these events are being presented collaboratively by all MACs and live webinar events have limited seating; therefore providers should register ASAP to ensure that they do not miss out on this important educational event.

To register, click on the date that best works for you:

December 10, 2020 at 3:00PM EST

January 19, 2020 at 3:00PM EST

Home Health and Hospice members requested to complete testing and PPE information form to potentially receive Abbot BinaxNOW cards

LeadingAge continues its work to secure Abbott BinaxNOW tests from the federal government through the COVID-19 Rapid Point of Care Test Distribution initiative and monitoring and reporting on PPE supply chains for home health and hospice members. As a result of these efforts, LeadingAge has successfully secured tests for a number of members and discussed PPE needs that have been emphasized to major suppliers like McKesson and MedLine.        

LeadingAge is requesting all home health and hospice members fill out this form by November 27. The sooner members fill out the form, the sooner LeadingAge can work to advocate for testing supplies to be sent. This form is only to be filled out regarding your home health and hospice staff and patients served. LeadingAge wants to reiterate that unless a copy of the CLIA certificate is submitted along with filling out the form, your organization will not be eligible to receive tests.

Home health and hospice town hall on December 10

On Thursday, December 10 from 1:00PM to 2:00PM, LeadingAge and Visiting Nurses Association of America (VNAA) and ElevatingHOME (EH) are hosting a standalone town hall event for all home health and hospice members. LeadingAge looks forward to a great conversation with home health and hospice members that provides valuable feedback as 2021 policy priorities are developed.

You can register for the Home Health and Hospice Town Hall at this registration link.

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Please send all questions to Additionally, members are encouraged to visit the LeadingAge Ohio COVID-19 Working Group facebook group to pose questions to peers and share best practices. LeadingAge is continuing its daily calls for all members.  To participate in these daily online updates, members should register here.  

LeadingAge Ohio is working to ensure that the information in our daily alerts, on our website, and all coronavirus-related communications is as accurate as possible. However, LeadingAge Ohio makes no guarantees about the accuracy of the information. 

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