Elevating the Post-Acute and
Long Term Care Profession

July 1, 2021

Governor Signs Budget Bill, Vetoes 14 Items. Last night, Governor Mike DeWine signed the state budget bill, House Bill 110, while vetoing 14 specific items. The vetoes are memorialized in the Governor's veto message, which explains his rationale for each one, and the boxed text that shows exactly what language was removed. The legislation takes effect immediately, although many specific provisions are not effective for 90 days. Relative to long-term services and supports:

  • The Governor struck the temporary law language about rate increases for ID/DD waiver providers and for providers of home and community-based services under various programs run by the Departments of Aging and Medicaid. The latter group includes Assisted Living and certain PASSPORT Waiver providers, along with Medicaid home health agencies. We expected this veto, as the Governor eliminated similar language from the last budget two years ago. The Administration does not want Medicaid rate provisions in statute if it can help it. The appropriations that support the increases remain intact. The Governor's veto message specifically states that the rates will be raised despite removal of the language: “[t]he Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) are supportive of and will implement the increased rates for the PASSPORT, Ohio Home Care, Adult Day Care, MyCare Ohio, [and] Assisted Living waiver programs for specified services, [and for] waiver programs administered by DODD.”

  • The only portion of the language on SNF reimbursement that the Governor vetoed was the definitions of the Special Focus Facility (SFF) lists published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). One of the definitions was incorrect as written in the bill. After the veto, the language excluding SFFs from the quality incentive remains in place, it is only the definitions that are gone. Nothing was vetoed relative to rebasing.

OHCA will offer a free webinar for members on the budget bill provisions affecting SNFs. Please use this Zoom link to participate, or you may phone 301-715-8592,,86048055489#,,,,*2021#.

DODD Re-Shares Regional Residential Crisis Support Plan. DODD updated the Regional Residential Crisis Support Plan on its website. The plan specifies a four-step process that directs providers first to attempt to resolve the situation themselves. If they are unable to do so, they should reach out to the provider support liaison at their local county board. If the county board cannot resolve the issue, they are to contact DODD’s regional provider resources and community resource coordinators (CRCs) for assistance. If all that fails, DODD’s strike team, which consists of a group of senior leadership at the department, will step in to assist. While this regional crisis plan was originally set up for COVID-19-related staffing issues, the continued staffing crisis has led to many emergency staffing situations that providers can't resolve on their own. As a result, DODD refreshed the plan so providers can use it in such an emergency.

HRSA Opens PRF Reporting Portal. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) today emailed a notice to providers who received Provider Relief Fund (PRF) distributions informing them that the portal for reporting how the provider used the funds is open. At this time, only providers who received PRF distributions before June 30, 2020, are required to report. The reporting must be completed by September 30, 2021, and the provider must have used the money before today. HRSA's notice includes a link to a data entry worksheet and other resources. HRSA also will offer a technical assistance webinar next Thursday, July 8, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. Please use this link to register for the program.

Please Submit Comments – OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards, Due July 21 (from AHCA/NCAL). As you are aware, effective June 21 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) to address exposure to COVID-19 to workers in healthcare settings.  This healthcare ETS applies to skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICFs/IID). Compliance is required within 14 days (July 6) for most items and 30 days (July 21) for a few requirements. Please visit the AHCA/NCAL website for a link to webinar for further details along with links to OSHA resources.

AHCA/NCAL is asking members to submit comments before the July 21 deadline. Comments may be submitted online here. Attached please find a Power Point presentation with details about the ETS. Priority areas outlined in the Power Point to include in comments are:

  • Recognizing Good Faith Efforts
  • Reporting to Other Employers
  • Consistent Guidance
  • Supports through Consultation

AHCA/NCAL is working on comments to submit as well. We appreciate your efforts to lift the voices of long term care on this important issue.

Still Waiting for an ODM SNF Visitation Equipment Grant? If you applied to ODM for a grant to cover the cost of plastic dividers or tents to facilitate visitation, and you submitted all the required paperwork but never received payment, we may have the answer. We learned today from ODM's Amy Hogan, who administers the grant program, that a system issue prevented release of payments to a number of SNFs (Ms. Hogan indicated a couple dozen). If you think you may be in this situation, please contact Mandy Smith for assistance in resolving it.

CMS COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach (from AHCA/NCAL). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) will be mailing COVID-19 vaccine stickers and posters to all nursing homes and requesting they share photos of themselves using the materials. These photos will be shared on CMS' social media channels as part of their long-term care vaccine outreach efforts. We wanted to share this opportunity and encourage you to participate as you see fit.

Attached is the model release form they are requiring facilities to complete before they can use any materials. For additional questions, please reach out to Kelly Dinicolo at Kelly.Dinicolo@cms.hhs.gov.