In a series of updates on COVID-19 pandemic matters for long term and post-acute care providers, the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) said it now has an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Plan Template.

“Providers should note that if respirators are being used (such as N95s) you must have a Respiratory Protection Program in place to comply with OSHA standards. OSHA has fined long term care providers for not having the protection plan in place during the COVID-19 pandemic,” AHCA/NCAL said.

The template is designed to be reviewed and tailored by each individual facility. Facilities should review the Respiratory Protection Standard (29.C.F.R. 1910.134). And, the association noted that OSHA has also issued frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 reporting obligations.

Read more on the issue at https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/New-OSHA-Guidance-for-COVID-19-and-AHCANCAL-OSHA-Resources.aspx.

In other developments, AHCA/NCAL said the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released updated Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment guidance based on the recently enacted Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act. Read more at https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/CMS-Releases-Medicare-Accelerated-and-Advance-Payment-Guidance.aspx.

Also, AHCA/NCAL said it has updated the FAQs on Testing in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Communities. These include information on the Abbott BinaxNOW shipments, further clarity on CMS testing requirements, and a new section on discordant results. Read more at https://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/Updated-Testing-Guidance-from-AHCANCAL.aspx.