COVID-19 Updates

CDC Releases Vaccine Safety Monitoring Videos

The CDC is actively monitoring vaccine safety, and two of their key monitoring systems are the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and V-Safe. Staff in long term care facilities are asked to report any concerning side effects in residents through VAERS, while V-Safe is for individuals who receive the vaccine (residents and staff) to self-report their health and any side effects after vaccination via a smartphone app.
The CDC has released new videos to educate staff and residents on both systems. 
Skilled nursing facilities should have received a message from CMS last week encouraging weekly reporting of vaccination uptake rates to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) via the Vaccine Reporting Module. AHCA/NCAL has also previously encouraged this reporting by long term care facilities enrolled in NHSN. 
The CDC has released a study showing the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine. The study included two skilled nursing facilities in Connecticut who experienced an outbreak following the first vaccine clinic. The study found that partial vaccination with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was 63 percent effective against COVID-19 infection. 
Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) implemented a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to ensure employees in high-hazard industries are protected from contracting COVID-19. Effective as of March 12, 2021, Area Offices may begin to initiate inspections under this NEP. This Direction is effective for no more than 12 months from the effective date, unless canceled or extended. 
On March 10, the U.S. Senate confirmed Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Senators approved Rep. Fudge’s nomination to be HUD secretary on a 66-34 vote. She will be the first woman to hold the position since 1979. 
The US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released its updated List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) database file, which reflects all OIG exclusions and reinstatement actions up to, and including, those taken in February 2021. 
A top capital market guru explains how his organization helped reshape federal loan programs to give providers a new safety net during the pandemic in the March Provider. “Leaders Finesse Policies Aimed at Making Recovery Possible” is the third of Provider’s March cover articles, and it is as straightforward as can be, with a top capital market guru explaining how.
AHCA/NCAL members receive 15% off the purchase of any Healthcare Interactive (HCI) CARES® online training program by using promo code AHCA15 at checkout. CARES® online training is recommended by AHCA/NCAL to help reduce the off-label use of antipsychotics. 
AHCA/NCAL partners with several premier companies to offer “member only” discounts on vital products and services through the AHCA/NCAL Member Savings Program

AHCA/NCAL Publications

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The COVID crisis illustrates the vital need for emergency preparedness in assisted living communities. Establishing proper policies and procedures ensures a safe environment for both residents and staff. The recently revised Disaster and Emergency Manual for Assisted Living and Residential Care Communities offers sample policies and procedures, staff training materials, an emergency procedures DVD, and resource CD with customizable forms. This resource also includes prevention and preparation materials specifically focused on illness outbreaks and epidemics.