Third Round of COVID funding for Assisted Living

$20 Billion in New Phase of Provider Relief Funding On October 1st, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced additional funding for Assisted Living and Mental Health facilities.  The $20 Billion dollars considers financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by the coronavirus.  Providers can begin applying for funds from October 5, 2020 through November 6, 2020. According to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, “This new round helps ensure that we are reaching America’s essential behavioral health providers and takes into account losses and expenses relating to coronavirus.”  HHS has already issued over $100 billion in relief funding to providers through prior distributions.  Still, HHS recognizes that many providers continue to struggle financially from COVID-19’s impact.  They also recognize constraints such as the stay-at-home orders and social isolation have been particularly difficult for American’s that live in assisted living facilities.   Eligibility Providers who previously received or rejected Provider Relief Fund payment.  Providers that have already received payments of approximately 2% of annual revenue from patient care may submit more information to become eligible. Behavior Health providers. Healthcare providers that began practicing Jan. 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 Payment Methodology Applicants that have not yet received Relief Fund payments of 2% of patient revenue will receive a payment that, when combined with prior payments, equals 2% of

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Insulin Saving Model NEW for 2021

Making Insulin More Affordable for People with Medicare More than 3.3 million people with Medicare use one or more of the common forms of insulin every day. Unfortunately, the cost of insulin has nearly tripled over the past ten years, from about $100 to $300 a vial, and out-of-pocket costs for the drug for people with Medicare can significantly fluctuate from month to month, making budgeting and management of a person’s diabetes more difficult. Starting October 15, 2020, people with Medicare will be able to enroll in a Medicare drug plan that offers insulin for no more than a $35 copay for a month’s supply. Coverage will begin on January 1, 2021. While all plans that are participating in Medicare’s new “insulin savings model” guarantee that your cost-sharing is capped at $35 for a month’s supply of insulin, some plans may offer even lower copays. Participating plans cover different types and brands of insulin, and it’s important to check each plan’s formulary to find out your exact cost, starting in the deductible phase, and going through the initial coverage, and coverage gap phases of your Medicare drug benefit. By enrolling in a participating plan, people with Medicare may save hundreds of dollars per year on your out-of-pocket costs for insulin, and you’ll always know exactly what you’ll be paying each

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Medicare Part D Open Enrollment Resources

As you begin to educate your residents regarding the open enrollment period to review and select their Part D plans, Partner Care Pharmacy has useful tools to share. Also, Starting October 15, 2020 Medicare beneficiaries will be able to enroll in a Medicare drug plan that offers insulin for no more than $35 copay per month.  For those residents currently on insulin therapies it is important to review that coverage. Click the links below for Medicare Part D resources Open Enrollment Video Medicare Open Enrollment flyer – English Medicare Open Enrollment flyer – Spanish 2021 Insulin Saving Model – FAQ  

Flu Shot Myths

It is projected that there will be an increased demand for the flu vaccine during the 2020-2021 season.  Since the circulation of COVID-19 there has been a widely recognized importance of the prevention of influenza and getting the flu shot.  This is an opportunity for healthcare professionals to educate and advocate immunization for people of all ages, not just those over 65 years old.  In addition the current outbreak of COVID is being predicted to persist into at least the fall, with health experts concerned over potential overlap with flu season.  For those reasons, here is a list of Flu Shot Myths and the answers/explanations you can use to counsel patients, families and co-workers. MYTH:  It is better to get the flu than to get the flu shot TRUTH: Preventive measures, such as getting the flu shot, carry  much lower risks of harm than infection with the virus itself.  Influenza can result in serious infections for certain people, such as young children, adults 65 years and older, pregnant women and those with medical conditions.  Even in healthy individuals, influenza can lead to serious complications. MYTH: The flu shot will give me the flu TRUTH: Influenza vaccines cannot cause influenza illness.  The vaccine is manufactured from inactivated (killed) virus which is not infectious or from a single gene from the virus that

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Staff Morale Activities in a Pandemic

For any business the backbone of your operation is your staff.  The overall happiness of staff members can improve services, increase client satisfaction and make coming to the job enjoyable.  Before the pandemic there were many ways we let our staff know they are appreciated and helped strengthen the team.  Pot luck lunches, bowling outings, picnics and team building activities have now been cancelled due to the need to socially distance.  Even our monthly staff meetings and training sessions temporarily came to a halt in the first few months, as we learned to navigate and keep everyone safe.  Now our staff meetings are outside or in a large space with masks and distancing – and we keep it short.  Training is videos and surveys sent by text or email for everyone to complete on their own. It is very important to bring back the comradery of the employees and send the message that we want to connect and your hard work is appreciated!    So here are a few ways you can improve staff morale in a pandemic. And please NO MORE ZOOM meetings!  The novelty of seeing others via the internet wore off quickly. Pandemic Staff Activities Hang a banner or poster  Having yard signs made and strategically placing them so your staff is welcomed to work can start the day

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Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate use in COVID-19

Despite the fact that the drug Hydroxychloroquine has been approved for use for malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the FDA recently updated their warning regarding use for COVID-19 patients.  On April 27, 2020 the FDA published an updated FACT SHEET warning against the use of this controversial drug.  The FDA has not approved the use of the drug due to more recent serious adverse events and clinical outcomes related to it’s unauthorized use.  Patients and their prescribers may be desperate to find treatment for the deadly COVID virus, but the use of hydroxychloroquine can do more harm than good due to the risk of heart rhythm problems resulting in tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation and in some cases death. With the new warning, the FDA is also requiring physicians that have prescribed the drug for COVID-19 patients or PUI (Patients Under Investigation) to report any adverse events within 7 working days. Regardless of the latest warning, treatment of COVID-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine is only appropriate in clinical trials and in patients that are hospitalized.  This Emergency Use Authorization does not permit the treatment of adults in the community or long term care settings.  Nursing home staff should educate patients and families regarding this important information. IMPORTANT FDA INFORMATION TO SHARE