Elevating the Post-Acute and
Long Term Care Profession

March 25, 2021

CMS Approves Appendix K for DD Waiver Services. The Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) announced today that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) (finally) approved Ohio's Appendix K submission for lump-sum pandemic relief payments to DD waiver providers. The following is DODD's announcement on this welcome news:

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), with financial support from Ohio's county boards of developmental disabilities, have received federal approval for an additional relief payment to eligible DODD waiver providers.

The amount of each eligible provider’s payment will be calculated as a percentage of the total amount of paid claims for the list of services (below) for dates of service from 8/1/2020 through 10/31/2020. 

Services to be included in the payment calculation are:

  • Homemaker/Personal Care (HPC), including On-Site/On-Call and HPC Daily Billing Unit,
  • Participant-Directed HPC, including Participant-Directed On-Site/On-Call
  • Shared Living,
  • Adult Day Support,
  • Vocational Habilitation,
  • Employment services, including Career Planning services, and
  • Non-Medical Transportation.

The projected date for these payments is between April 9 and April 13, 2021.

Please contact DODD.Support@dodd.ohio.gov with questions.

From our previous conversations with DODD, the payments will approximate two weeks' worth of reimbursement for each provider, totaling $77-78 million. We understand the actual formula will be each provider's percentage of the total amount paid out during the August-October 2020 period listed above multiplied by the total dollar allocation for the lump-sum payment.

Complete Maintenance Vaccination Program Survey. Governor Mike DeWine again commented during his press conference on the assisted living communities and SNFs that have not filled out the state's survey for the long-term care vaccination maintenance program - 155 and 52, respectively. The state posted a list of these facilities. If you are on the list, please complete the survey as soon as possible. If you have an alternate source for obtaining vaccinations, please indicate that on the survey. There is no obligation to use the state's maintenance program.

Legislature Overrides Veto of Health Order Bill. Yesterday, both the House of Representatives and Senate voted to override Governor DeWine's veto of Senate Bill (SB) 22, which allows the legislature to cancel future emergency orders from the Health Department (ODH) and other agencies, emergency rules, and even a public health emergency declaration itself. The bill also addresses existing orders and rules by providing that the legislature can rescind them immediately upon SB 22 taking effect. The current emergency declaration, which began last March, will expire 30 days after the bill takes effect unless the legislature cancels it earlier or extends it. SB 22 does not have an emergency clause, so it takes effect 90 days after the override. There could be litigation over the measure's constitutionality. The potential impact on ODH orders affecting OHCA members is unclear at this time.

On a related note, the Ohio Public Health Advisory System cases per 100,000 measure today came in at 146.9, slightly higher than last week's 143.8. Governor DeWine previously set 50 cases per 100,000 as the trigger for removing all public health orders. By another metric, daily cases, Ohio recorded 1,501 today, right at the three-week average. The 67 hospitalizations are below the three-week average of 88.

Long-Term Care Cases Lower This Week. This week's state dashboard on COVID-19 cases lists 926 total cases between residents and staff in long-term care facilities. This figure is down from last week's 993. Weekly cases peaked at 8,426 the week of December 16 and have declined every week since then. Total mortality for long-term care since the beginning of reporting in mid-April 2020 stands at 7,055.

CDC Vaccination Data Encouraging. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) COVID Data Tracker, one-third of all Americans 18 and over already have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 18% have completed all required doses. Among Americans 65 and over, the percentages are much higher: 71% and 45%. ODH's vaccination dashboard is difficult to compare with the national figures because the percentages are given by each 5-year age cohort, but they appear fairly similar.

ODH Again Asks Facilities to Complete Visitation Dashboard. ODH provided a new, much shorter list of SNFs and assisted living communities that have not complied with the requirements relating to the state's visitation dashboard. Please check the list, and if your building is on it, please use these instructions to register and enter the necessary information per the ODH visitation orders for SNFs and assisted living communities.

AHCA/NCAL Unveils COVID-19 Honors Program. Yesterday, AHCA/NCAL unveiled its COVID-19 Honors program for long term care staff. This program was created for facilities to recognize their incredible staff in long term care who demonstrated strength and courage in the face of COVID-19. Any facility wishing to honor their staff can participate in this program.

There are three categories, which include:

  1. Individuals who work in a long term care facility where there was a COVID outbreak
  2. COVID survivors
  3. Staff members who passed away from COVID

Honorees can receive the following:

  • Pin and Letter of Recognition: Individuals who work in a long term care facility where there was a COVID outbreak
  • Medal and Letter of Recognition: COVID survivors
  • Medal and United States Flag Flown over the U.S. Capitol: Families of staff members who passed away from COVID

When a facility purchases materials, they will also receive a communications packet, including:

  • Ceremony guide
  • Media advisory template announcing the ceremony
  • Press release template (post-ceremony)
  • Template letters to staff and family of staff who passed away

Honors materials are distributed on a rolling basis, so there is no deadline to purchase. Facilities can order and purchase merchandise via the AHCA/NCAL bookstore beginning today. Items will ship in mid-April. Merchandise is priced at AHCA/NCAL’s cost.

Please email covid19@ahca.org with any questions.