In The News

New [National] Regulations to Require Staff Vaccinations at Nursing Homes

Comagine Health/ Aug 18th, 2021

New regulations will be developed that require staff members of nursing homes be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, President Joe Biden announced Wednesday.

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the regulation would affect more than 15,000 facilities in the country. About 1.3 million workers are employed by these nursing homes.

“Keeping nursing home residents and staff safe is our priority. The data are clear that higher levels of staff vaccination are linked to fewer outbreaks among residents, many of whom are at an increased risk of infection, hospitalization or death,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. 

As of Aug. 8, about 62% of nursing home staff were vaccinated, and vaccination among staff at the state level ranges from a high of 88% to a low of 44%. With the emergence of the COVID-19 delta variant, case rates among nursing home residents have gone from 319 cases on June 27 to 2,696 cases on Aug. 8. According to CMS, many recent outbreaks are occurring in facilities in areas of the country with low staff vaccination rates.

press release from CMS states the agency expects to issue the new guidelines in September.

The new nursing home regulation was one of several actions Biden announced Wednesday regarding the fight against COVID-19.

 

Polis seeks vaccine mandate for Colorado health care workers as state orders some employees to get inoculated

PUBLISHED: August 17, 2021 at 5:29 p.m. | UPDATED: August 17, 2021 at 6:16 p.m.

Gov. Jared Polis asked the state Board of Health on Tuesday to quickly mandate COVID-19 vaccines for Colorado’s health care workers, an action he had all but ruled out less than three weeks ago.

Colorado officials also announced that state employees working in 24-hour facilities, including prisons and state-run veterans homes, would have to get their shots in the coming months — or find somewhere else to work.

In late July, Polis had said he wouldn’t require state employees to get vaccinated, though anyone who chose not to would need to wear a mask at work and submit to regular testing. That stance largely mirrored the federal government’s softer mandate, which added annoyances for unvaccinated employees but stopped short of firing those who wouldn’t get the shot.

Denver already has required private-sector health care workers in the city to get vaccinated, as have a number of major health systems operating in Colorado.

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Bennet touts $400 million measure to expand home health care, increase pay in field

Colorado Politics
 
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said Wednesday that he's confident a massive spending package being assembled in the Senate will include legislation he's pushing to expand home health care and boost pay for workers in the field.
 
“Our home care workers provide vital services to families, seniors and people living with disabilities in our communities, but over half of them rely on public assistance to live,” Bennet said at a forum at Denver's City Park organized by unions that represent health care workers.
 
“Caregivers, who are largely women of color and immigrants, deserve to earn a living wage, receive benefits and be treated like the essential workers they are. It’s time to transform low-paying caregiver jobs into middle-class, high-quality, good-paying jobs across the country.”
 
Bennet is urging fellow Senate Democrats to include his proposal to spend $400 billion on home and community-based health care in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation measure, a broad blueprint covering health care, social issues and climate policy. The measure, given an initial OK along party lines in the Senate last week, is structured so Democrats can pass the bill out of the Senate without having to face a Republican-led filibuster.

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'Choosing Home Care Act' Resources

Dobson & DaVanzo Report  DDA-Choosing-Home-Savings-Estimate-Memo-012621.pdf (pqhh.org)

Full Text of Choosing Home Care Act  https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/s2562/BILLS-117s2562is.pdf

 

CGS Provider Contact Center (PCC) Voice Recognition Improvements

Our local Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), CGS Administrators, has asked our association to collect feedback on the Provider Contact Center (PCC) Voice Recognition improvements? See the following article regarding these recent enhancements: https://www.cgsmedicare.com/hhh/pubs/news/2021/06/cope22312.html

Please provide feedback regarding the following by this Wednesday, August 18th.

Specifically:

  • Your experience with the enhancement
  • Suggested improvements
  • Whether you will use the functionality again

Please email [email protected] with your feedback.  

 
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