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Update regarding the Wisconsin Nursing Home and ICFs/IID Testing Opportunity

Division of Quality Assurance: Notifications & Updates

Attn: All Wisconsin Nursing Homes and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

Update regarding the Wisconsin Nursing Home and ICFs/IID Testing Opportunity

In follow up to Governor Ever’s guidance to the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to facilitate a plan to test every nursing home and ICFs/IID resident and staff member in Wisconsin for COVID-19, providers across the state are actively participating in this initiative. To date, approximately 76% of these long-term care providers are testing or have tested their residents and staff. Thank you all for your ongoing efforts to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens!

DHS supports and encourages providers to continue testing and conducting case management infectious disease practices to help keep residents and staff as safe as possible. Providers are encouraged to send the specimens back on a daily basis as testing is conducted, if possible; this will ensure the integrity of the specimens and assist in timely processing. DHS will issue additional guidance about ongoing testing strategies, in line with CMS guidance, to support each facility’s ability and safety to reopen to visitors.

Testing is a key strategy for identifying individuals who have COVID and to prevent others from becoming infected, which is particularly important for the individuals who live in these settings. It is not too late to start testing. However, if a provider does not intend to begin testing at this time, please do not order test kits until ready to do so; this allows the current supply to be sent to organizations that are actively testing. Exact Science test kits continue to be available and should be returned to the lab for processing no later than December 31, 2020 which is the current end of the CARES Act funding.

New resources for addressing staffing issues will be posted under “Planning for Staffing Shortages” on the COVID-19: Long-Term Care Facilities and Services webpage.

Updated information is also posted under “Testing Criteria” on the COVID-19: Long-Term Care Facilities and Services webpage:

Overview, forms, and fact sheets:

Webinars and notifications:

Resources related to information to share with staff about COVID-19 testing, criteria for Point Prevalence Survey (PPS) retesting and testing guidance for other provider types is coming soon.

If you have questions about the testing process or suggestions for other publications that would be helpful, please email WI COVID-19 SNF Testing.

2020-05-27T21:44:05+00:00May 27th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Update regarding the Wisconsin Nursing Home and ICFs/IID Testing Opportunity

Update for Emergency Nurse Aide Training Programs Due to End of Public Health Emergency

Inclusa Received the following message and is sharing, on behalf of DHS:

Attn: Nurse Aide Training Programs

Update for Emergency Nurse Aide Training Programs Due to End of Public Health Emergency

As of May 11, 2020, the public health emergency ended and Emergency Order #21 is no longer in effect; therefore, the Department has established a waiver request process to allow entities and facilities to continue to hire and train caregivers through the Emergency Nurse Aide Training Programs.

DHS is actively working to promulgate an emergency rule. Until the emergency rule is promulgated, both approved and temporary Emergency Nurse Aide Training Programs may request a waiver to allow the provider to continue to hire and train nurse aides to work in their facility.

  • The request should include the name of the facility and a request for a waiver of “all applicable regulations to allow for the continuation of the Emergency Nurse Aide Training Program.” It is not necessary to include specific regulatory references in your request.
  • Please send your waiver request via email to Nurse Aide Training and Testing.

We are able to accept students via the survey who were hired and started training while the emergency order was in effect. Therefore, currently approved Emergency Nurse Aide Training Programs may continue to train students who began their training on or before May 18, 2020, without a waiver. Temporary nurse aides who have completed an Emergency Nurse Aide Training Program may also continue to work at this time.

The Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) will schedule a webinar to provide additional information as needed. The date and time of the webinar will be communicated via this listserv messaging. Thank you for your continued efforts to train much-needed nurse aides during this time.

If you have any questions about this information, please email Nurse Aide Training and Testing

2020-05-22T18:07:28+00:00May 22nd, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Update for Emergency Nurse Aide Training Programs Due to End of Public Health Emergency

Internet and Communications Resources Available to Support Increased Needs during Safer at Home and COVID-19

DHS has provided Inclusa with the following guidance around internet and communication resources available during the COVID19 Public Health Emergency.  This includes information on obtaining and replacing phones for members and cellphone minutes.

If you require assistance to follow up with any of these directions, please contact your Inclusa Community Resource Coordinator or Health and Wellness Coordinator – they will be glad to help! If you don’t have their phone number, please call Inclusa’s toll free number at 1-877-622-6700 or TTY 711 for assistance.  You can also contact us on via our website here: https://www.inclusa.org/about/contact-us/

Question: Are resources available to help get telephone service?

Answer: The Lifeline program offers discounts on phone service, including no-cost cell phone plans. The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) administers the program in Wisconsin. Information about Lifeline is available at: https://psc.wi.gov/Pages/Programs/LifeLineLinkup.aspx.

​​​​​​​Residents are directed to contact a telephone service provider to apply. The list of providers that offer lifeline service can be found at https://psc.wi.gov/Documents/USF/lifelineContacts.pdf.

Question: I had a Lifeline phone at one time, but it has been lost/stolen/damaged. How do I report this and get a new phone?

​​​​​​​Answer: The federal rules require the providers of the “free phone” (prepaid, wireless Lifeline) to de-enroll a customer if they have not used their phone for 30 days or more. Contact the Commission’s Consumer Affairs line. They can check on enrollment and contact the carrier on your behalf.

  • The Commission Consumer Affairs phone number is (800) 225-7729 or (608) 266-2001. The line is open Monday through Friday, from 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • The Consumer Affairs team will call an interpreter if a customer needs assistance in a different language.

Question: How many free minutes a month should Lifeline customers receive?

​​​​​​​Answer: As of December 2019, Lifeline phone carriers were required to provide a minimum of 1000 free minutes per month to Lifeline customers.

If the you do not receive 1000 minutes, let your CRC or HWC know right away and they will assist you.

2020-04-23T22:37:50+00:00April 23rd, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Internet and Communications Resources Available to Support Increased Needs during Safer at Home and COVID-19

PPE Request Process for Long-Term Care Providers Caring for COVID-19 Positive Individuals

In order to support long term care providers who are caring for COVID-19 positive individuals, the State Emergency Operations Center has developed a process for requesting reserve resources from the strategic national stockpile.

The following providers are eligible to request PPE from the process:

  • Any entity licensed by DQA as a residential facility.
  • All licensed or certified Adult Family Homes.
  • Home Health, Personal Care, and Supportive Home Care Providers caring for a COVID-19 positive patient in the patient’s home.
  • Participant hired providers caring for a COVID-19 positive patient in the patient’s home (applies to all Medicaid Long Term Care Programs).
  • Adult Protective Services providers responding to a home with a COVID-19 positive person in their home.

This process is only intended to be used when a provider has exhausted all attempts to secure PPE from other local sources.

In order to request PPE, eligible providers must complete this form, and submit to their county emergency manager.

Once received, the county emergency manager will determine whether the request can be filled at the local level. If the request cannot be filled locally, the county emergency manager will submit the request to the State Emergency Operations Center.

Additional details regarding when the provider can expect to be contacted, and how soon the provider may receive the resources are available here.

2020-04-09T21:06:04+00:00April 9th, 2020|Front Page News|Comments Off on PPE Request Process for Long-Term Care Providers Caring for COVID-19 Positive Individuals

COVID-19 Status Updates

Inclusa continues to follow the guidance of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), alongside local public health agencies across Wisconsin. Providers licensed by the State of Wisconsin should continue to watch for operations guidance in relation to COVID-19 from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Division of Quality Assurance (DQA).

The DHS and CDC websites are updated regularly as circumstances are changing and evolving. Also be sure to connect with your local health department, the first line of contact for situations that impact your community’s health.

In addition, the following are the most recent memos issued by DHS:

2020-03-23T15:41:08+00:00March 23rd, 2020|Front Page News|Comments Off on COVID-19 Status Updates

How to Navigate Remote Work in the Face of COVID-19

Infographic Working Remote in the Face of COVID-19

Resources Referenced:
CDC | How to Protect Yourself
CDC | Know the Symptoms

Content Sources:
Fynd | How to Transition to Remote Work in the Face of Coronavirus Outbreak
Atlassian | 500 Atlassians Worked Remotely For a Week – Here’s What We Learned
Microsoft 365 | Working Remotely During Challenging Times
CDC | Reducing Stigma

2020-03-18T16:42:35+00:00March 18th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on How to Navigate Remote Work in the Face of COVID-19