Survey for COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Due to CDPH Friday
On Oct. 12, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released All Facilities Letter (AFL) 20-81, which asks all hospitals, or health systems on behalf of their hospitals, to submit information for their COVID-19 vaccine planning.
In the survey, CDPH states that to determine fair and transparent allocations of scarce initial supplies of vaccines, which could begin arriving in the next few months, it needs detailed information about employees and staff. The information hospitals and health systems provide will assist state and local health departments in implementing a strategic vaccine allocation plan for the receipt, distribution, administration, and tracking of vaccines.
This strategic vaccine allocation plan includes an initial phase of limited vaccine availability, during which the state will be risk stratifying and prioritizing healthcare workers at greatest risk of exposure to COVID-19. And it includes a later phase of unlimited vaccine availability, during which large quantities of vaccine will need to be maintained at the proper temperature and administered as quickly as possible.
Today, CDPH posted the full list of survey questions in a two-page pdf file. The survey requests information on:
- Hospital points of contact for COVID-19, vaccine planning, information technology, and logistics
- The number of staff that are highest risk, high risk, moderate risk, and low risk for exposure to COVID-19
- Vaccine storage capacity — both current and future, with advance notice
- Administering the vaccine to staff
- With additional resources and liability protection, willingness to provide closed clinics to first responders who are not staff, and open clinics to members of the public
- Immunization registry (e.g., CAIR2, Healthy Futures, or San Diego Immunization Registry) identification, if one, employee health records vendor, and electronic medical records vendor
CDPH has requested responses be submitted online here by 5 p.m. (PT) this Friday, Oct. 16. Questions can be directed to the CDPH Center for Health Care Quality duty officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CMS Sending Hospitals Letters on COVID-19 Data Reporting, Adding Fields
Hospitals have begun receiving letters from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) indicating that they are not in compliance with Medicare conditions of participation, which now require daily hospital reporting to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These letters were based on one week of data reporting in late September, and any hospital that did not have 100% reporting for all fields received a letter. Hospitals that received these letters should plan to report for all fields moving forward. There will be subsequent non-compliance letters prior to any termination from the Medicare program.
On Oct. 6, CMS released new guidance (with accompanying FAQs from HHS) that includes new reporting requirements as well as information on how it will enforce CMS’ interim final rule published in September. The interim final rule made collecting and reporting COVID-19 data part of Medicare and Medicaid conditions of participation.
As detailed by this new guidance, changes in data reporting include:
- Six new fields related to influenza. These fields will be available for optional reporting beginning on Oct. 19 and will become mandatory reporting several weeks thereafter (CMS has not yet specified an exact date).
- Modifications to reporting frequency for existing fields related to personal protective equipment and supply availability. These fields are now required to be reported just once a week on Wednesdays.
- A change in remdesivir reporting requirements. Reporting related to remdesivir will be optional, though not for several more weeks.
CHA will make changes to its COVID-19 Tracking Tool to incorporate the new fields related to influenza in the coming weeks. In addition, CHA will work with CDPH to update the data dictionary. Once these changes are implemented, CHA will provide hospitals and systems currently using the data upload feature with a revised template. Please send any questions to COVIDTracker@calhospital.org.
New Reporting Requirements for Provider Relief Fund Will Be Covered in CHA Webinar
CHA will hold a members-only webinar on Oct. 14 from 1 to 2 p.m. (PT) to explain important changes to reporting requirements in the HHS Provider Relief Fund (PRF). Specifically, the webinar will address the Sept. 19 guidance issued by HHS that included a new definition of lost revenue. This change is problematic for participating hospitals on multiple levels. The webinar will clarify the new reporting requirements and explain the impact on hospitals’ operations and accounting. Speakers will also discuss the upcoming Nov. 6 application deadline for PRF Phase 3 funding of $20 billion.
In addition, CHA has partnered with Toyon Associates to develop a data management workbook that will help hospitals track and organize data and maintain compliance with the PRF. Fred Fisher of Toyon Associates will provide a live demonstration of the workbook’s features and benefits.
Oct. 15 Webcast to Provide Information on Phase 3 Provider Relief Fund Application Process
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will host an informational webcast on Oct. 15 at noon (PT) to provide additional information on the application process for the recently announced $20 billion PRF Phase 3 general distribution. Applications for this distribution are due by Nov. 6. Interested participants should register via HRSA’s web page.
CDPH Issues AFL on Managing Influenza in SNFs
CDPH has issued AFL 20-80, which notes the potential for concurrent COVID-19 and influenza outbreaks in skilled-nursing facilities. The AFL emphasizes that facilities should optimize all available effective influenza prevention and outbreak interventions, including vaccinations of residents and health care personnel and prompt treatment when indicated.
CDPH Guidance Aims to Protect Voting Rights of SNF Residents
CDPH AFL 20-78 encourages skilled-nursing facilities to ensure that as many residents as possible are able to vote while following public health guidelines. The AFL provides suggestions for how to support safe voting and encourages facilities to work with their local long-term care ombudsman. The AFL follows guidance recently issued by CMS, which affirms the continued right of nursing home residents to exercise their right to vote, and that skilled-nursing facilities must take steps to ensure each resident’s right to vote is not impeded.
Next CDPH Call for Health Care Facilities: Oct. 20, 8-9 a.m. (PT)
Dial: (844) 721-7239
Summary of Oct. 6 CDPH Call
CDPH has provided a summary of its recent weekly call with health care facilities.