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 Tips on Preparing for More Widespread COVID-19 Testing of Residents, Staff

Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has emphasized the importance of testing for COVID-19 in nursing facilities, and at the same time a growing number of states are requiring testing of all residents and/or staff. 

In light of these developments, the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) said when accessing testing, it recommends long term care providers ensure that the tests are FDA-approved PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests—versus antibody/serology tests—and that the lab will bill Medicare directly. 

Providers, the association said, need to have a plan in place to isolate residents who test positive and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for staff who test positive. More information and guidance on preparing for widespread testing is available here

On other issues, AHCA/NCAL said law firm Husch Blackwell has information on some general steps for documenting activities and response efforts to be prepared for surveys and potential litigation from the COVID-19 pandemic. AHCA/NCAL said it also recommends that providers work with their legal counsel to develop practices. This resource is available to AHCA/NCAL members (log in required). 

AHCA/NCAL has developed a resource to warn providers about potential scammers posing as government officials. Learn more about how to screen callers claiming to be representing a state or federal agency or official or claiming to be from the IRS, Department of Commerce, or a bank or other financial institution without first verifying the caller’s identity. 

This resource also includes ways to protect residents from scammers and some safety tips to confirm legitimate outreach calls from CMS or CDC.  

Separately, AHCA/NCAL had previously created a 
resource on how to beware of scams when working with vendors offering personal protective equipment. 

Lastly, AHCA/NCAL’s FAQs on the Provider Relief Fund has been updated to include information on the additional funding to be released this week.

Please email COVID19@ahca.org for additional questions, or visit ahcancal.org/coronavirus for more information.​

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