All Posts, COVID-19

When Call of Duty Beckons, Cyndy and Kelsey Minnery both RNs Answer the Call to Help

Cyndy and Kelsey Minnery

Like Mother Cyndy (right) like daughter Kelsey (left) both nurses administered swab COVID- 19 testing for both the residents and staff of an assisted living facility in San Diego.

It didn’t take long for ever dependable 6Beds Board Director Cyndy Minnery RN  to respond to a call of duty at an assisted living facility in San Diego.

When told that a staff member at a 30-bed Assisted Living facility in San Diego tested positive for COVID-19, concurrent 6Beds Vice President of Clinical Affairs Cyndy Minnery offered to help the facility’s Administrator make calls to inquire about testing for all of the residents and staff in the facility.  After a full day of calls to find testing the San Diego Board of Health delivered 40 test kits to the facility.

Cyndy, an RN for 39 years and now owns and operates four residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) for 12 years,,  went as far as offering her services along with her daughter Kelsey Minnery, a four-year ER nurse, to administer the tests when there was no one else was available..

Cyndy and Kelsey Minnery

The Minnerys are busy at work while administering a nasal swab on a resident in the facility.

“The Administrator of a San Diego 30-bed Assisted Living facility called Wednesday May 6th to let me know she had a staff member that tested positive for Covid 19 and wanted all of the residents and staff at the facility tested. Cyndy and the facility Administrator made several calls on May 7th that led to dead ends however, after reaching out to a local physician involved in long-term care, the San Diego County of Epidemiology offered to send 40 test kits to the facility. Realizing that no one was available to perform the tests my daughter Kelsey Minnery and I offered to go to the facility to conduct the nasal swab testing for the 36 residents and staff ourselves on May 8,” Cyndy stated.

Testing was performed within two days after the first COVID-19 infection discovery and the Administrator and staff felt so much relief as they would know which residents to isolate and if any more staff were infected with the virus. Both the Administrator and Cyndy felt as though they moved a mountain to get testing done on all residents and staff. By the following Monday, May 11, results revealed that four residents were positive for the virus.

Cyndy, who has provided CEU classes for 6Beds members, and Kelsey also did an in-service training while at the facility on proper donning and taking off of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the staff, when to wear masks, gowns and gloves and how often to change each type of PPE between residents.

“We also talked about infection control in general terms about cleaning and disinfecting and then specifically regarding isolation of residents.  We helped set up an isolation room and talked about the importance of having a dedicated wing to house Covid positive residents as well as dedicated staff to care for residents in isolation,” Cyndy disclosed. “The facility kept the four positive COVID residents, set up a wing in the facility to house them and provided them with isolation rooms.  All four residents were stable as of May 15th.”

Cyndy and Kelsey Minnery

Wearing PPE, mother and daughter Cyndy and Kelsey Minnery are all ready to attend to residents and staff.

For Cyndy, Kelsey and the facility Administrator, the testing and training were a very positive experience in large part due to the nursing acumen of Kelsey in calming the fears of staff by talking about how wearing PPE correctly will help keep them protected.  Kelsey shared with the staff that she has been working in the ER with Covid patients since January and she tested negative for the virus.

Kelsey was a nurse at the Emergency Department at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Everett, Washington the largest ER in the Pacific Northwest and level II trauma center. She currently works full time in the Emergency Department at Kaiser in San Diego where she has been testing and caring for COVID-19 patients since the onset of the pandemic.

“I’ve heard from a number of facility owners and many are afraid to take new residents into their facilities especially from a nursing home or hospital where there are Covid residents under care.  Some residents may have the virus yet be asymptomatic so, unless potential residents have tested negative for the corona virus. many won’t accept them into a Covid-naive facility,” explained Cyndy. “Reliable testing for Covid 19 is definitely in high demand in San Diego’s Assisted Living facilities.”

An expert witness in 2012 and has opined on over 200 cases involving law suits against Skilled Nursing and RCFEs, Cyndy impressed further that testing is so important for staff and residents

antibody tests
All Posts, COVID-19

No Upfront Out-of-Pocket Cost LabCorp Antibody Tests Now Available Nationwide

A leading global life sciences company announced that their antibody blood tests for the virus that causes COVID-19 are now offered throughout the United States with no upfront out-of-the-pocket costs.   

Laboratory Corporation of America or LabCorp added that their antibody tests can be availed of in nearly 2,000 LabCorp patient service centers including more than 100 LabCorp at Walgreens locations, and thousands of physicians’ offices

LabCorp President and Chief Executive Officer Adam Schechter stated that they are bringing the full force of LabCorp’s science and testing capabilities to serve individuals across the United States.. 

“Whether they had the virus or believe they have the virus. We stand with all Americans, healthcare workers, and those on the frontlines who are helping people in need,” Schechter maintains.

For his part, Walgreens President Richard Ashworth believes that COVID-19 response requires collaboration across industries and sectors.

“We’re pleased to further our relationship with LabCorp in order to improve access to COVID-19 and antibody testing in many of the communities we serve. By continuing to expand our testing efforts and resources, together we’ll play a critical role in helping to keep our communities healthy and enabling more Americans to return to work once they can do so safely,” Ashworth disclosed.

LabCorp’s antibody blood tests are administered across the U.S.  at no out-of-the-pocket cost to people who receive an order for a test through a doctor or healthcare provider, including telemedicine providers.

Results will be available to the ordering healthcare provider within 1-3 days after the date of specimen pick up.

LabCorp began antibody blood testing on a limited basis to high-priority healthcare workers in late-March and currently has capacity to perform over 50,000 antibody tests per day and expects to be able to perform 200,000 tests per day this month of May as more tests and testing platforms receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

The COVID-19 antibody blood tests detect the presence of antibodies to the virus and can help identify individuals who have been exposed to the virus but should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude infection as a patient’s results might simply be useful in the determination of important decisions, such as the ability for hospital staff to care for patients.

These tests have not been reviewed by the FDA but are being offered by LabCorp in accordance with the public health emergency guidance issued by the FDA on March 16.

LabCorp is a company that is deeply integrated in guiding patient care, providing comprehensive clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services. With a mission to improve health and improve lives, LabCorp delivers world-class diagnostics solutions, brings innovative medicines to patients faster, and uses technology to improve the delivery of care. LabCorp reported revenue of more than $11.5 billion in 2019.

All Posts, COVID-19

Coronavirus: Our Skilled Nursing Facilities Are Crucial

Post By: Craig Cornett, President & CEO, of the California Association of Health Facilities, which represents 900 skilled nursing facilities and 450 intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities in the state.

As the coronavirus pandemic progresses, it’s become increasingly evident that its most pervasive threat is to vulnerable older adults with underlying health conditions. In California, across America and around the world, the virus’ toll has been most severe in places where that population is concentrated.

It is equally evident that our response must be targeted at keeping those individuals safe.

County and state assistance remain necessary to address staffing shortages resulting from worker exposure to COVID-19.

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

These outbreaks are not the result of inattentiveness or lapses in nursing homes. It’s a combination of the vicious nature of the virus and its unique threat to the very people who are in our care.

We must deploy county, state and federal resources to the skilled nursing sector and we applaud Gov. Gavin Newsom for his recent announcement that skilled nursing is moving up on the state’s priorities.

There is a continuing shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in many areas of the state. The lack of proper equipment puts employees and residents at risk and has been a contributing factor to outbreaks across the state.

We also need priority testing for all healthcare workers in long-term care settings to stop the spread of the virus.  Where tests are available, we have seen success in keeping COVID-19 out of buildings. In other cases, when the virus is identified early, testing has allowed patients and workers to be successfully isolated to prevent further spread. But even with the best infection prevention protocol in place, we can’t stop the infection from spreading without adequate PPE and testing.

We are indebted to every employee who selflessly continues to show up to work every day, sometimes at great personal risk, whether at a skilled nursing center or community-based home for the developmentally disabled. These workers are the only lifeline residents have to the outside world as they remain isolated from their families and loved ones.

County and state assistance remain necessary to address staffing shortages resulting from worker exposure to COVID-19.  Gov. Newsom’s initiative to retrain 600 nurses to support facility compliance with COVID-19 guidance and to assist facilities with positive cases is a good first step.

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of creating well-equipped, separate facilities or alternate sites to care for COVID-positive patients to keep the virus contained.

Early on, the California Association of Health Facilities opposed any requirement to transfer positive COVID-19 patients from the hospital to skilled nursing facilities. The result of state orders to nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients has played out in New York and New Jersey with devastating consequences.  We continue to work with our hospital partners and county and state agencies to address the critical need for alternate COVID-positive sites.

As many of our members shift from prevention to a containment strategy, they need assistance to provide the highest level of protection to their residents and staff.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have issued waivers to offer relief to health care providers, employees and residents during the pandemic.

In addition, the Governor’s Office has coordinated efforts to assist. Included are  no-cost or low-cost hotel rooms for workers who have had possible exposure to COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 and do not need to be hospitalized.

Skilled nursing administrators, long-term care nurses and critical care workers are doing everything possible, with the resources that are available, to slow the spread of the virus in our member facilities. We remain committed to do everything we can to support their heroic and dedicated efforts on behalf of the 400,000 residents we serve.

All Posts, COVID-19

PIN 20-17-ASC: Temporary Contracts to Increase Bed Capacity Due to Anticipated Surge In COVID-19

PIN_20-17-ASC announces an opportunity for Adult and Senior Care licensees to assist in providing additional beds by entering into contracts to temporarily house COVID-19 positive individuals.

Highlights include:

Preferred facilities are those that are currently empty, have a completely separate structure from any other residents, or contain solely COVID-19 positive residents. Current law does not allow the State to limit the ability of a licensee to include both COVID-19 positive and non-COVID-19 positive residents in the same facility. If the State is unable to locate contracted beds in facilities that would house solely COVID-19 positive residents, the State may contract with other adult and senior care facilities.

Services to be Provided

The contracted licensee will be responsible for providing appropriate housing, staffing, and the required services to meet the individual’s needs while placed in the licensee’s care. The duration of the individual’s stay is currently anticipated to be between 3-30 days. To be eligible for this agreement, if there are any existing residents who are not COVID19 positive in any other parts of the facility, the contracted licensee must physically segregate all individuals placed under this agreement, such as utilizing the entire facility, a separate building, separate floor, or separate wing of the facility. In all cases, the contracted licensee must provide staff that are solely dedicated to the provision of services to the individuals, and under no circumstances allow staff to provide services to, or otherwise interact with, other residents or staff at any facility.

The contractor shall follow and comply with guidance and instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and its local county health departments regarding COVID-19, including guidance related to appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Prior to an individual being placed in, or exiting from, the care of the contracted facility, the needs of the individual will be assessed and coordinated with the individual’s home facility, individual and/or individual’s representative, Ombudsman, and the local health department. CDSS will provide technical assistance for placements. Technical assistance from CDSS will continue throughout the temporary stay and until the resident’s return to their home facility, or alternative arrangements are made. The home facility will hold the resident’s bed for the resident once clearance is obtained from the local health department or the resident’s healthcare provider.

Reimbursement Rate

CDSS will pay licensees who enter into these contracts (“Contractor”) to temporarily house COVID-19 positive individuals in the following manner:

  • For facilities licensed for six or fewer beds:
    • The Contractor will be paid a daily all-inclusive rate of $1,000 from the date the first resident is placed under a State contract, in recognition of the need to fully staff the facility.
    • The applicable daily rate will continue beyond the initial 15 days so long as residents continue to be placed and remain in the facility under the terms of the State contract.
  • For facilities licensed for more than six beds, please indicate your interest via the survey below and CDSS will contact you. These payment rates do not apply to Adult Residential Facilities for Persons with Special Health Care Needs (ARFPSHNs), Adult Residential Facilities (ARFs), or Adult Day Programs (ADPs), which contract with the California Department of Developmental Services. Those facilities should continue to follow guidelines set forth by the California Department of Developmental Services.

>> Download PIN_20-17-ASC

covid-19
All Posts, COVID-19

More than 500 die In California’s skilled nursing facilities to COVID-19

A substantial number of residents and staff members of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in California have become victims of coronavirus COVID-19

As of April 25, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) figures show from that more than 545 residents and less than 11 staff members have died at skilled nursing facilities across California of the more than 5,770 residents and employees have contracted COVID-19.

CDPH requires “all 1224 skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to report COVID-19 positive residents, staff, and deaths associated with COVID-19 on a daily basis. The data is from SNFs that have reported in the last 24 hours and includes only the resident and staff fatalities that are known by the facility. As such, it is not a comprehensive count.”

There is no available figures yet from 6Beds assisted living facilities on residents and/or staff members affected by COVID-19 as of this time and reports will be given as soon as available, verified and reliable data comes in.

California State Governor Gavin Newsom pledged support for nursing home patients suffering from the coronavirus promising more testing of those showing symptoms as he expresses concern on the people who live or work in 94 board and care homes across the state who have tested positive for COVID-19

SWAT teams of infectious disease specialists would be sent to the homes where the virus is present and to some places Newsom called “hot spots” as the state is monitoring the nursing homes with outbreaks and that more than 600 nurses have been sent to help the facilities.

CDPH announces, “California is actively working with the White House, federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local governments, health facilities, and health care providers across the state to prepare and protect Californians from COVID-19.”

They are also providing information, guidance documents, and technical support to local health departments, health care facilities, providers, schools, universities, colleges, and childcare facilities across California.

On the local front, the City of Hayward has announced that it will dispatch mobile teams of specially trained firefighter paramedics from the city’s COVID-19 testing center to provide coronavirus testing of nursing home residents and employees.

Hayward Fire Department firefighter-paramedics respond to 911 medical emergency calls at nursing homes—and securely share critical care information with relevant county authorities while maintaining the privacy of residents and staff In addition to providing COVID-19 testing,

Inquiries about COVID-19 infection rates in nursing homes should be directed to the California Department of Public Health, which is responsible for nursing home licensing and oversight.

Among the latest to report was Director Alisa Mallari Tu of Gordon Manor Assisted Living Facility in Redwood City confirmed that at least ten residents have succumbed to coronavirus COVID-19 or from complications related to it while ten other residents and seven staff members have also been tested positive in recent weeks.

The more known resident of Gordon Manor who died recently from the virus was Donald Kennedy former head of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during the term of then President Jimmy Carter and also was a former Stanford University President.

In a more detailed report of the California Department of Public Health (CPDH), 86% of SNFs have reported their data as of April 18, 2020. There are 1224 Skilled Nursing Facilities in California and 258 have reported having one or more COVID-19 case by either a resident or a health care worker (HCW).

The SNFs with the biggest number of residents with COVID-19 are Redwood Springs Health Care Center in Tulare County with 91, Brier Oak on Sunset in Los Angeles County with 80 and Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center with 69 residents.

Those with biggest number of HCWs with COVID-19 are Brier Oak on Sunset in Los Angeles County with 62 HCWs, Redwood Springs Health Care Center in Tulare County with 46 and Garden Crest Rehabilitation Center also in Los Angeles County with 35.

The SNFs with the more significant number of COVID-19 cases by county as of April 18, 2020 broken down into HCW and residents are:

Facility Name County HCWs confirmed  with COVID-19  Residents confirmed with COVID-19 
ALAMEDA CARE CENTER LOS ANGELES 26 20
BRIER OAK ON SUNSET LOS ANGELES 62 80
BRIGHTON CARE CENTER LOS ANGELES 20 43
CANYON SPRINGS POST-ACUTE SANTA CLARA 25 39
CEDAR CREST NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER SANTA CLARA 19 38
CEDAR MOUNTAIN POST ACUTE SAN BERNARDINO 18 62
CENTRAL GARDENS SAN FRANCISCO 26 36
COMMUNITY CARE AND REHABILITATION CENTER RIVERSIDE <11 25
COUNTRY VILLA PAVILION NURSING CENTER LOS ANGELES 17 45
COUNTRY VILLA SOUTH CONVALESCENT CENTER LOS ANGELES 15 58
EAST BAY POST-ACUTE ALAMEDA 23 25
EL RANCHO VISTA HEALTH CARE CENTER LOS ANGELES <11 22
EXTENDED CARE HOSPITAL OF RIVERSIDE RIVERSIDE 26 26
GARDEN CREST REHABILITATION CENTER LOS ANGELES 35 35
GARDENA CONVALESCENT CENTER LOS ANGELES 18 33
GATEWAY CARE & REHABILITATION CENTER ALAMEDA 33 69
GRAND PARK CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL LOS ANGELES 12 16
GREATER EL MONTE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL D/P SNF LOS ANGELES 16
HOLLYWOOD PREMIER HEALTHCARE CENTER LOS ANGELES 25 29
HUNTINGTON HEALTHCARE CENTER LOS ANGELES <11 19
KEI-AI SOUTH BAY HEALTHCARE CENTER LOS ANGELES 23
LYNWOOD HEALTHCARE CENTER LOS ANGELES 27 22
MANORCARE HEALTH SERVICES-HEMET RIVERSIDE <11 31
NEW VISTA NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER LOS ANGELES 15 18
ORINDA CARE CENTER LLC CONTRA COSTA 28 30
RECHE CANYON REGIONAL REHAB CENTER SAN BERNARDINO 29 22
​REDWOOD SPRINGS HEALTHCARE CENTER ​TULARE ​46 ​91
STOLLWOOD CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL YOLO 31 24
SUNRAY HEALTHCARE CENTER LOS ANGELES <11 20
THE EARLWOOD LOS ANGELES 17 24
THE GROVE POST-ACUTE CARE CENTER LOS ANGELES 11 20
THE REHABILITATION CENTER OF SANTA MONICA LOS ANGELES <11 14
TORRANCE CARE CENTER WEST INC LOS ANGELES 15 23
VALLEY HOUSE REHABILITATION CENTER SANTA CLARA 21 42
Grand Total 1290 1740

The figures on this list may change from time to time as available figures come in from different reliable sources including that submitted by the facilities.

White House
COVID-19, Payment Protection Program

Trump Signs $484 Billion Coronavirus Relief Bill to Boost Small Business, Hospitals and Testing

President Trump on Friday signed the nearly $500 billion emergency coronavirus relief package into law replenishing the Payment Protection Plan (PPP) fund for small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legislation includes:

  • $310 billion in new funds for the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides small business loans that can be forgiven if used for wages, benefits, rent and utilities. $60 billion is set aside for small lenders.
  • $60 billion for Small Business Administration disaster assistance loans and grants.
  • $75 billion in grants to hospitals dealing with a flood of patients.
  • $25 billion to bolster coronavirus testing, a key part of efforts to reopen the economy.

Payment Protection Program

The PPP was created as part of the more than $2.2 trillion stimulus package, known as the CARES Act, which passed last month.  The program converts the small business loans to grants and would be fully forgiven if 75 percent of the loan is used to keep employees on the payroll.

Most application is done online.  It is a a very short form to fill out.  Be ready to provide payroll information as loan is 2.5x of monthly payroll.

Source: CNBC News

All Posts, COVID-19

Nursing Homes Want to be Held Harmless for Death Toll

Here’s Why Governor Newsom May Help

For weeks, nursing homes have been the epicenter of coronavirus outbreaks and deaths in California, making them prime targets for civil lawsuits and even criminal prosecutions. But the nursing home industry has some leverage to fend off legal action: California needs these nursing homes to relieve pressure on hospitals statewide.

Source: Maura Dolan, Harriet Ryan, Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times.

All Posts, COVID-19

Hospital & Health Care Update

In a recent All Facilities Letter (AFL), The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released updated guidance on prioritization of testing for COVID-19. Citing the importance of expanded testing in understanding the virus, CDPH indicated this guidance will “be reassessed on a weekly basis based on California’s evolving situation and input from stakeholders. The prioritization categories below are suggested as guidance to sequential expansion of testing. As testing capacity increases, testing should expand accordingly at the discretion of the Local Health Officer.”

  • Priority 1:
    • Hospitalized patients
    • Symptomatic healthcare workers
    • Persons identified for testing by public health contact investigations and disease control activities in high risk settings, including both residents and staff (e.g., congregate living facilities, correctional facilities)
  • Priority 2:
    • Screening of asymptomatic residents of congregate living facilities prior to admission or re-admission to congregate living facility (e.g., a hospitalized patient will be screened for COVID-19 prior to discharge to a congregate living facility)
    • Screening of asymptomatic healthcare workers (e.g., skilled nursing facility workers, hospital workers)
    • Symptomatic persons in essential health and public safety occupations (e.g., first responders, law enforcement, congregate living facility workers)
    • Symptomatic persons >65 years of age or with chronic medical conditions
  • Priority 3:
    • Symptomatic persons in essential infrastructure occupations (e.g., utility workers, food supply workers, other public employees)
  • Priority 4:
    • Community-based testing of all low-risk symptomatic persons
    • Surveillance testing of asymptomatic persons
  • The AFL further guides, ill persons should stay home and away from others until:
    • There has been no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications,
    • There has been improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) for at least three days; AND,
    • It is at least seven days since symptoms first appeared, i.e., the minimum length of time will be seven days.