DHS Publishes Guidance on Post-Acute and Long-Term Care COVID-19 Testing and Transfers

June 11, 2020

The state’s Department of Health Services (DHS) issued three guidance documents on June 10 relating to COVID-19 testing of hospitalized patients, and transfer of patients to and from post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings during the pandemic.
For the past three years, WHA’s Post-Acute Work Group has addressed the difficulties involved with discharging complex hospital patients to PALTC settings. The COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated this situation. In early March, WHA began hearing from members about increased difficulty in placing ready-to-discharge patients into PALTC facilities due to COVID-19 concerns. WHA conveyed these issues to DHS and made several requests for state-level guidance. In response, the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC) created a Long-Term Care Subcommittee to develop documents addressing this situation. The subcommittee included WHA Vice President of Policy Development Laura Rose, as well as stakeholders from hospitals and health systems, post-acute and LTC settings, advocates, and infectious disease experts.
The three documents address the following topics:
  • The role of COVID-19 testing in decisions around transfers from acute care hospitals to post-acute and long-term care facilities.
  • Guidance on the transfer of hospitalized patients infected with COVID-19 to post-acute and long-term care facilities.
  • Guidance on the disposition of medically stable post-acute and long-term care residents with confirmed or clinically suspected COVID-19 infection.
WHA will continue to address the need for access to PALTC for hospital patients, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have questions about this issue or the attached documents, contact  Laura Rose.

This story originally appeared in the June 11, 2020 edition of WHA Newsletter