THCA COVID Updates: 100% Testing of Residents and Staff in Texas Nursing Homes

As noted in the release below, Texas Governor Greg Abbott today directed Health and Human Services Commission, Texas Division of Emergency Management and Texas Department of State Health Services, to test 100% of residents and staff in Texas Nursing Homes.

[The State Of Texas Governor Seal]

For Immediate Distribution  |  May 11, 2020  |  (512) 463-1826

Governor Abbott Directs TDEM, DSHS, HHSC To Test All Nursing Home Residents, Staff In Texas

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to test 100% of residents and staff in Texas nursing homes. The Governor instructed HHSC, TDEM, and DSHS to develop and implement a plan based on the guidance of Vice President Mike Pence and Doctor Deborah Birx. 


"The State of Texas is working to rapidly expand our testing capacity—especially among vulnerable populations in Texas nursing homes," said Governor Abbott. "This important collaboration among HHSC, TDEM, and DSHS will ensure that any potential clusters of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes are quickly detected and contained."


Guidance to Nursing Facilities on Coordination with Managed Care Organizations             

HHSC is reminding nursing facility providers of their contractual requirements to inform a member’s managed care organization service coordinator if the member has any of these changes.

Has a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. A positive COVID-19 diagnosis is considered a significant change in condition.
Has left the NF.
Is requesting to return to the community.

The NF is responsible for notifying the service coordinator within one business day of receiving this information. Notification can be via phone, email, or other electronic means. NF providers are also required to submit Form 3618 or Form 3619, as applicable, to HHSC no later than 72 hours after a member’s admission or discharge from the NF.

HHSC has waived face to face service coordination visits through the end of May 2020 for STAR+PLUS MCOs and Dual Demonstration Medicare-Medicaid Plans. HHSC encourages MCOs and MMPs to replace face to face visits with phone or telehealth outreach and requires MCOs and MMPs to conduct the same number of contractually required annual outreach contacts. NF providers should coordinate with the MCO service coordinators for timely phone visits.

If a NF provider needs the member’s designated service coordinator they can contact their MCO’s care coordinator team, listed below.

Amerigroup Member Services: 800-600-4441 (TTY 711)
Cigna-HealthSpring Service Coordinator: 877-725-2688
Molina Healthcare Member Services: 866-449-6849
Superior Health Plan Service Coordination: 877-277-9772
UnitedHealthcare Member Services:  888-887-9003 (TTY 711)

COVID-19 Provider Information



Updated Nursing Facility COVID-19 Response Plan

HHSC Long-term Care Regulatory has updated the nursing facility COVID-19 response plan. The document provides guidance to nursing facilities on response actions in the event of a COVID-19 exposure.



Guidance to Medicaid-Certified Nursing Facilities on PASRR

HHS is providing guidance to Medicaid-Certified nursing facilities that must comply with Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) requirements on admissions of new residents during the COVID-19 pandemic waiver period.

Prioritize skilled nursing facilities during COVID-19 pandemic
April 21, 2020

The following statement is from Craig Cornett, CAHF President and CEO.

"Skilled nursing facilities in California are facing unprecedented challenges due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. While our members fight to keep the virus out of their buildings, or contain it if it is present, their daily struggle remains the same - to protect the lives and well-being of sick and vulnerable individuals who are most susceptible to COVID-19............


California Association of Healthcare Facilities [CAHF.ORG]


  • Updated PPE guidance on use and extended use of equipment 4/13/20
  • Revised COVID-19 5000a staffing waiver request  4/9/20 mail to chcqdutyofficer@cdph.ca.gov/not to the DO as instructed in the form
  • CDPH issues clarifying guidance on care for COVID-19 patients 4/1/20


Managed Care Contract & Consulting Services


CALIFORNIA:  DAILY STATE UPDATES https://www.cahf.org/Resources/Coronavirus


CMS approves state plan amendment
Includes COVID-19 specific rate increase

In direct response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a requested rate increase of 10 percent for California’s Medi-Cal long term care providers on May 13. The increase will be retroactive to March 1, 2020 and extend through the end of the of the fed erally declared public health emergency.


Advisory: Hospital Discharges and Admissions to Nursing Homes
Please distribute immediately to: Nursing Home Administrators, Directors of Nursing, Directors of Social Work, Hospital Discharge Planners

COVID-19 has been detected in multiple communities throughout New York State. There is an urgent need to expand hospital capacity in New York State to be able to meet the demand for patients with COVID-19 requiring acute care. As a result, this directive is being issued to clarify expectations for nursing homes (NHs) receiving residents returning from hospitalization and for NHs accepting new admissions.

During this global health emergency, all NHs must comply with the expedited receipt of residents returning from hospitals to NHs. Residents are deemed appropriate for return to a NH upon a determination by the hospital physician or designee that the resident is medically stable for return.