Latest Blogs

By Mark Holt, 08/03/2020
N-95 masks have been the subject of increased focus by OSHA. These masks were originally designed for industrial use in sectors such as mining, construction, painting and manufacturing. Designed to filter out airborne particulates, they have a logical place in the healthcare setting to control airborne diseases...

Growing rates of healthcare workers are experiencing physical and psychological injury as a result of workplace violence related to resident care. A staggering 95% of healthcare workers have reported exposure to aggression. However, research has found that workplace violence is underreported, signifying that...

By Peggy Morrison, 07/01/2020
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS has established a COVID-19 Focused Survey for Nursing Homes with the expectation that all nursing homes are inspected to ensure appropriate infection control practices are in place to prevent the spread and transmission of COVID-19. According to Quality Certification &...

By Cathy Knopf BSN, RN, 06/17/2020
After many months of closure, the nation is beginning to open. With this in mind, the Director of Quality, Safety and Oversight Group for CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality issued a memo providing recommendations for state and local officials to utilize while determining the level of mitigation needed...

Response to the novel coronavirus has increased demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during a time when supply chain interruptions are occurring across the nation, affecting both acute and senior living healthcare providers. As the number of persons infected with COVID-19 has continued to rise, and as...

By Cathy Knopf, 05/26/2020
The 2020 monthly webinars focus on best practice approaches, regulatory updates, operational and risk management techniques to help senior living communities better care for their residents and staff while protecting their business. We invite you to join our specialists at these upcoming exclusive...

By Ashley Johnson, Lisa Salter, 05/18/2020
While COVID-19 continues to impact our economy, business income coverage, sometimes referred to as business interruption coverage, has become a widely popular topic in the insurance industry. As many business owners struggle to keep their businesses afloat, several questions have emerged on how insurance policies...

Under normal circumstances, maintaining appropriate nursing staff levels to deliver quality resident care is a daily struggle. Add in severe weather, flu outbreak or a pandemic and the scales are tipped. Traditionally, senior living healthcare communities shy away from utilizing agency nursing staff due to high...

By Kristy Dickens, 05/05/2020
Even though your organization likely has always had the required Infection Control Program in place, your team had very little time to prepare for the rapid escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak. Many senior living communities have already encountered their first positive test result, but others have been fortunate...

By Kristy Dickens, 04/14/2020
Utilizing an Arbitration Agreement is an important tool in your risk management arsenal, as it can reduce the cost of defending against a claim and provide a more appropriate forum for a healthcare claim to be litigated. The annual actuarial analysis commissioned by the American Health Care Association indicated,...

Taking Steps to Reopen Senior Living Communities

After many months of closure, the nation is beginning to open. With this in mind, the Director of Quality, Safety and Oversight Group for CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality issued a memo providing recommendations for state and local officials to utilize while determining the level of mitigation needed for their communities’ Medicare/Medicaid certified long term care facilities to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.  State officials should also collaborate with state and local health departments in determining how and when to relax restrictions in their state’s senior living communities.

In accordance with the recommendations, state officials may choose to relax restrictions in several different ways. They may require all senior living communities to go through each phase at the same time, they may allow senior living communities within certain regions to go through each phase at the same time or they may permit senior living communities to move through the phases individually. With all this in mind, senior living community owners and operators must be diligent in staying abreast of the factors in relaxing restrictions. Senior Living owners and operators need to be knowledgeable in current community transmission data, current presence of COVID-19 in facilities, and current status of the local hospitals ability to accept transfers.

Owners and operators must ensure adequate staffing, access to adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff and have universal source controls in place for residents and visitors. It is important to know that during Phase One, visitation and ancillary services are generally prohibited, except for compassionate care situations. Restrictions will ease some during Phase Two allowing entry to limited numbers of non-essential healthcare personnel/contractors, and visitation will be allowed during Phase Three as along as screening, social distancing and hand hygiene is taking place.

To add to the spectrum, health inspections will also change at each phase. Phase One health inspections will continue to be limited to investigation of complaints alleging there is an immediate serious threat to a resident’s health and safety, focused infection control surveys and initial licensure survey. State based priorities will be added in Phase Two and normal survey operations will resume in Phase Three.

Considering COVID-19 is a fluid situation, it is imperative for all senior living communities to stay abreast in order to maintain the health of their residents and staff. Keeping informed means keeping in touch with state and local health departments, health care associations and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

AssuredPartners has compiled a variety of resources related to the coronavirus.  Click here to visit the resource center or reach out to the AssuredPartners Senior Living team for more information.