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October 4, 2020


PRF Phase 2 Applications Must be Completed Today. With the imminent opening tomorrow of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 3 General Distribution portal, HHS will close the Phase 2 portal at 11:59 p.m. today. Anyone who is eligible for Phase 2 and has not completed their application has until that time to do so. Please see this notice from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for more information about the transition from Phase 2 to Phase 3, including links to the Phase 2 portal and frequently-asked questions. Phase 3, which will provide $20 billion in additional funding to cover expenses and lost revenue not paid through other distributions, is open to providers who were eligible for Phases 1 and 2. HRSA adds in the notice:

If you are unable to complete your Phase 2 application by the deadline, you can start a new application for funding under the Phase 3 General Distribution. You will receive the same payment that you would have received in Phase 2 (plus some additional payments), but providers who submit their Phase 2 application will receive their Phase 2 distribution payment months earlier than if they elect to apply for Phase 2 funds as part of their Phase 3 application process.

More Project ECHO SNF Training Introductory Webinars. To ensure all SNFs know about and participates in Project ECHO, the 16-week, federally-sponsored training program that includes a $6,000 stipend, the ECHO team scheduled 5 introductory webinars over the coming two weeks. These 30-minute webinars, which will be identical in content, are set for the following dates/times:

  • Wednesday, October 7, 12:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 8, 7:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, October 13, 3:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 14, 2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 15, 12:00 noon
Please use this link to register for any of these webinars.

Secretary Azar Extends Public Health Emergency. Unlike in July, when HHS Secretary Alex Azar waited until the last minute to extend the national Public Health Emergency (PHE), this time he extended it well ahead of time. The extension lasts for 90 days, into January 2021. The PHE provides the underpinning for numerous federal regulatory and reimbursement waivers. Individual waivers still could be terminated before the end of the PHE, but without a specific termination, they continue until the PHE expires.

Ask the Experts: FFCRA Webinar Recording and Follow-up Webinar (from AHCA). AHCA/NCAL will be hosting a follow-up “office hour” webinar on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and How it Impacts Long Term Care on Wednesday, October 7 at 12:00 PM Eastern.

On this webinar, AHCA/NCAL Department of Labor consultants from Jackson Lewis, Craig S. Roberts, Principal and Henry Shapiro, Associate will answer questions from our first webinar and additional questions as time allows, on the FFCRA impacting long term care. If you missed the first webinar you can find the recording and slides on our website. Please note, this is not meant to take the place of guidance from your legal counsel.   

No pre-registration is required but you will need to login using your computer or WebEx app as questions will be accepted using the chat function. All lines will be muted.   

Meeting link: CLICK HERE

Meeting number: 172 281 2053
Password: QExXPBc5b36

You can join via audio by dialing 415-655-0003 and entering the meeting number above when prompted.

More on Batch Upload to ODH SNF Testing Portal, Including Webinar at 1:00 p.m. Tomorrow. In their Enhanced Information Dissemination and Collection System (EIDC) notice on the new batch upload process for the Department of Health (ODH) laboratory portal, which applies to all labs in the state-supported SNF testing program except Quest Diagnostics, ODH included the following information. Please note the webinar on the new process tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.

We appreciate your continued entry of data into the ODH electronic specimen submission portal – this entry has allowed testing laboratories to decrease the amount of time needed to process incoming specimens and increased the volume of testing that could be performed. We are cognizant that this entry has been cumbersome and time-consuming, so over the last several weeks our IT team has created some additional functionality to alleviate the burden.

You should see a batch upload tab in the electronic lab submission portal. This function will allow you to upload data stored in an excel sheet to generate the PDFs. This would mean you only need to capture the required data from those you routinely test once and alter only the fields that need to be altered prior to each upload. Instructions for use of the batch upload are attached. Any file that is uploaded must match the template file (also attached) and be formatted according to the instructions on the second sheet of that template document. If you are seeing any issues with your upload, please reach out to odhlabportal@odh.ohio.gov for assistance.

Please register for ODH Lab Portal - New Bulk Upload Lab Requisition for Nursing Homes  on Oct 5, 2020 1:00 PM EDT at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9207981483072260622. We will be discussing the functionality in more detail and adding

As always, with use of the portal, please remember the following items:

  • Portal use may be timed out after 8PM, while files are being transferred from the ODH system to the testing laboratories. Please refrain from using the portal between 8PM and 8AM.
  • Any file that is generated from the portal has a unique bar code:
    • Do not cover up the barcode in any way.
    • If you make any mistakes on the form, do not change on the form using a PDF editor or any other type of editing software. Please reupload that one record and generate a new file.
  • Name and date of birth information on the submission form MUST match name and date of birth information listed on the specimen collection tube.