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Senior Living Leaders: Hospital & SNF Partnerships Amidst COVID-19 Crisis

Senior Living communities must recognize that partnerships with local hospitals & SNFs have never been more important. HealthPRO® Heritage offers strategy & tangible resources to support Senior Living Leaders' efforts to collaborate with hospital and SNF partners during the COVID-19 crisis.

Important Background Information:
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, CMS has temporarily relaxed Social Security Act Medicare regulations, effective immediately.  The intention of this new directive is to facilitate quicker/easier access to skilled care for Medicare beneficiaries and reduce burden on hospital resources.  The expansion of Medicare benefits also represents significant flexibility/changes for how skilled nursing providers can support safe, efficient care transitions by:

  • Admitting patients directly from hospital Emergency Rooms
  • Admitting patients with less than a 3-day hospital stay
  • Providing care “in place” under physician direction without transferring patients to hospitals that are overburdened
  • Re-activating Medicare benefits even in cases where patient has not had 60 days since the last “skilled stay”
  • Note:  These changes only allows for skilled nursing facilities to provide necessary services in order to alleviate pressure on hospital infrastructure to leave critical beds for critical patients and to avoid unnecessary risk to current SNF residents by exposure in a hospital setting for a condition that can be managed within the SNF setting, i.e., “skilling in place”

Senior Living Communities Who Want to Partner with Hospitals & SNFs: Be prepared to respond to these critical questions from upstream providers: 

  • Do you know local SNFs’ clinical capabilities & services?
  • Do you accept residents diagnosed (or with signs/symptoms) related to flu virus &/or COVID-19?
  • Are you able to isolate residents if medically necessary? 
  • What is the status of your facility’s PPE supplies?  Are masks being made/donated?  Is your facility willing to issue a call to action to make masks?
  • Do you have a well-defined ‘direct admit’ process with SNF partners to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations as needed?

HealthPRO® Heritage offers for your convenience:

  • A template letter to address to regional hospital systems & SNF partners is included here. 
  • Assistance with responding to all COVID-19 1135 waiver related questions. Please contact HealthPRO® Heritage at: SNFwaiversinfo@healthpro-heritage.com.

Tags: senior living, Senior Living Community, COVID-19, Coronavirus, hospital