New DHS Guidance Issued for SNF Admissions during COVID
On Thursday, October 15, DHS issued a supplementary document
that may allow skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to admit residents prior to the expiration of a 14-day admissions restriction period previously recommended by DHS in its September 23 guidance
. As WHA previously reported
in Valued Voice, the September 23 guidance has severely curtailed hospital discharges to SNFs, leaving discharge-ready patients in hospitals, resulting in shortages of available acute care beds.
This supplementary document sets out criteria for a SNF to use to determine if it can safely admit residents to the facility without waiting 14 days. These criteria are:
- After subsequent facility-wide testing and contact tracing, either no units in the facility are impacted, or the outbreak is limited to a single unit/floor/wing. The facility may admit to a non-affected unit, may establish an alternate temporary quarantine area, or may consider admissions within a wing or floor where an outbreak was identified if the outbreak is contained, and interventions are in place for continued containment.
- The facility has determined it has adequate caregiver staffing levels to safely allow admissions while in its current outbreak status.
- The facility has determined it has an adequate supply of PPE, based on CDC guidance, to safely allow admissions while in its current outbreak status.
- The facility has addressed or mitigated other extenuating circumstances that would preclude it from admitting new residents in less than 14 days.
- The facility will inform new admissions of the outbreak and steps it has taken to ensure patient safety.
A facility admitting a resident following review and analysis of the above considerations must document and keep record of the findings of the assessment that are being used to support a decision to allow admissions during the outbreak status, including notification to their local public health department.
For further information on this most recent guidance, please contact Laura Rose
or Laura Leitch
This story originally appeared in the October 15, 2020 edition of WHA Newsletter