As we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis together, ACP's commitment remains unchanged, to help you provide outstanding healthcare value.
CDCCDC releases consolidated COVID-19 testing recommendations, including interim testing guidelines for nursing home residents and healthcare personnel, as well as testing strategy options for high-density critical infrastructure workplaces after a COVID-19 case is identified. These recommendations compile and update previous testing guidance. 6/13/20
CDC updated their suite of guidance for Nursing homes and staff who work in them (Includes guidance on facility wide testing, performing testing and key strategies.) 5/19/20CDC Revised Guidance for Testing Priority (reflects updated recommendations for testing, specimen collection, reporting patients and positive test results, and specification of testing priorities) 5/3/20
CDC Webinars on LTCF COVID-19 Module for Public Health Reporting CDC hosted two webinars this week offering post-acute providers an overview of the CDC’s new LTCF COVID-19 Module for long term care facilities to report on COVID-19 to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Reporting to NHSN requires facilities to be actively enrolled with the NHSN to gain secure access to the network. The webinars will be replayed next week. The first, COVID-19 Module Overview for Long Term Care Facilities, will be replayed on Monday, May 4 at 2pm Eastern. Slides from yesterday’s initial run are now available for download. The second, COVID-19 Enrollment Guidance for Long Term Care Facilities, will be replayed on Tuesday, May 5 at 3pm Eastern. Please visit the CDC webpage for details on accessing upcoming replays.
CDC’s Evaluating and Testing Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) CDC Updated recommendations for testing, specimen collection, and reporting patients and reporting positive test results And Specification of testing priorities 5/3/20
CARES ActCARES Act Provider Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions (Revise FAQs capture modifications to the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund as it relates to SNF distribution. HHS will distribute $4.9 billion in additional funding to more than 13,000 skilled nursing facilities, ranging in size fro six to 1,389 beds.) 6/1/20
House of Representatives Budget Committee FAQ on Sequester 3/27/20
ASPR Toolkit to Help States Navigate COVID-19 Health Workforce Challenges 4/22/20 (licensure information for many practitioners but not rehab therapists) https://asprtracie.hhs.gov/Workforce-Virtual-Toolkit
CMS has released version 6 of its Toolkit on State Actions to Mitigate COVID-19 Prevalence in Nursing Homes ... Version 6 7/20
CMS Updates Data on COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries 7-28-20 (First monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population, including for the first time American Indian/ Alaskan Native beneficiaries.
CMS released the third version of their Toolkit on State Actions to Mitigate COVID-19 Prevalence in Nursing Homes ... Version 3. 6/15/20 (Many chapters on various topics like testing that states have taken. Includes hyperlinks.)
CMS memo to State Survey Agency Directors Re COVID-19 Survey Activities, CARES Act Funding, Enhanced Enforcement for Infection Control deficiencies, and Quality Improvement Activities in Nursing Homes (Recommendations for stepped up survey efforts around COVID-19 to include the use of CARES Act funding for state survey activities.)
- Press Release: Trump Administration Unveils Enhanced Enforcement Actions Based on Nursing Home COVID-19 Data and Inspection Results
- Related Joint Letter from CMS and CDC to the Nation’s Governors
Training slides and worksheets shared during CMS’ first of eight weekly training session on setting up an infection control and prevention program are available from CMS' Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program. Sign up here to receive information on future installments in the National Nursing Home Training Series. 5/28/20
CMS Issues Nursing Homes Best Practices Toolkit to Combat COVID-19 (updated 5/13/20) (Includes additional resources to aid in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic within nursing homes)
Letter from Seema Verma to Nursing Home Management and Staff Administrator Verma expressed gratitude for the unwavering dedication and commitment of nursing home management and staff in keeping residents safe and for continuing to compassionately care for those who rely on them during this unprecedented time. The letter also provides links to previously shared infection control resources. 5/11/20
CMS Interim Final Rule with Comment Period - Medicare and Medicaid Programs, Basic Health Program, and Exchanges; Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Delay of Certain Reporting Requirements for the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program 5/8/20 (directs SNFs and NF) to provide two types of reports about cases of COVID-19 among nursing home residents and staff: 1) public health reporting that shares data with the CDC and 2) facility reporting to inform residents, their representatives & families about any occurrences of COVID-19 within a facility.)
- CMS Memo to State Survey Agency Directors regarding release of Interim Final Rule Updating Requirements for Notification of Confirmed and Suspected COVID-19 Cases Among Residents and Staff in Nursing Homes 5/6/20
In a Coronavirus FAQ document (See pages 70-71) dated May 27, 2020, CMS announced that it is allowing institutional settings to furnish and bill for outpatient therapy delivered via telehealth during the ongoing COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Question: Can outpatient therapy services that are furnished via telehealth and separately paid under Part B be reported on an institutional claim (e.g., UB-04) during the COVID-19 PHE? Answer: Yes, outpatient therapy services that are furnished via telehealth, and are separately paid and not included as part of a bundled institutional payment, can be reported on institutional claims with the “-95” modifier applied to the service line.
NASL Telehealth Update 3/30/20
Medicare Telehealth Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) CMS provided additional details in the form of an FAQ document regarding telehealth waiver provisions and the public health emergency (PHE). 3/17/20
Telehealth Updates for Rehab Providers
Below are online courses relevant to the COVID-19 outbreak - access these on ACP University.
- Hand Washing
- Infectious Disease
- Influenza in Post-Acute Care Settings
- Emergency and Disaster Preparedness in LTC Setting
- Emergency Response in the 21st Century (4 hours)
Enjoy unlimited access to continuing education courses for PTs, OTs, SLPs, NHAs & Nurses. If you do not have an ACP University account, you may register using the link below.
ACP Clinical Tips
COVID-19 Core Outcome Measure
The rehabilitation of patients with and recovering from COVID-19 is evolving and will be an integral part of therapy for the foreseeable future. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) developed a task force representing all academies and sections to identify core outcome measures to be used with all patients diagnosed with COVID-19 throughout care, across all settings. These outcome measures are to be used with patients having goals associated with five constructs; function, strength, endurance, cognition, and quality of life. (APTA, 2020) Please follow the link below to read the full clinical tip:
Infection Control Procedures
Infection control and patient safety are top priorities in healthcare. This document reviews low-level and intermediate-level infection control procedures for use with ACP technology to ensure the safety of healthcare providers and patients. Please follow the link below to read the full clinical tip:
Rehabilitation for Severe Deconditioning Using Advanced Technology and Electrical Stimulation
Individuals who present with a compromised pulmonary system, are acutely ill, or hospitalized for extended periods may become deconditioned or develop hospital-acquired muscle weakness, among other deleterious effects. Even healthy individuals may become deconditioned and frail if they decrease their activity level due to social distancing and limiting time outside their room or home. Please follow the link below to read the full clinical tip:
Improving Activation of Accessory Respiratory Muscles with NMES
Primary respiratory muscles during normal quiet breathing include the diaphragm and external intercostals. Accessory muscles of respiration assist the primary muscles when the chest is not expanding or contracting effectively to meet ventilation demands. Increased age, stress, poor posture, COPD, pneumonia, and illness are conditions that negatively impact proper oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange in the lungs. Please follow the link below to read the full clinical tip:
Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercise and Patterned Electrical Stimulation (PENS)
Diaphragmatic breathing helps individuals use their diaphragm correctly while breathing and enhances oxygen exchange (Cleveland Clinic, 2020). With age, stress, poor posture, and illness breathing changes and becomes shallow with increased reliance on accessory muscles. Implementing diaphragmatic breathing may help improve oxygen delivery throughout the body, use less effort and energy to breathe, and decrease overall oxygen demand. Please follow the link below to read the full clinical tip:
We are pleased to release our August schedule for our Live Remote Clinical Webinar Series. This videoconferencing series includes demonstrations of ACP rehab technologies, integration of these technologies within Program Pathways, and live remote clinical education courses on prevalent patient conditions and related treatments.
Please visit our Live Clinical Education Webinar Series page to view the calendar and register for upcoming events.
We continue to be available to you with valuable clinical resources & team members a call or click away:
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