Additional Resource for Provider Liability From Argentum
As discussed during the past two State Partner calls, Argentum is continuing efforts to protect senior living staff and communities from liability as a result of COVID-19.
In addition to the template executive order and background memo we’ve provided, we are now also offering all state partners access to legal experts in provider liability through Willis Towers Watson and Wyatt Tarrant & Combs. Over the next several weeks, we will be reaching out to state partners to discuss the current status of actions in the state and to help with strategy and identifying executive and legislative actions that can be taken to provide protections. We appreciate your flexibility in scheduling these calls.
Please contact your state policymakers. This background memo and current executive order text can be adapted as part of your outreach. Tara Clayton and Doug McSwain are assisting in our efforts. Please see their bios below:
- Tara Clayton, Senior Claim Consultant, Willis Towers Watson
Tara has extensive experience dealing with senior living general liability, professional liability, and medical malpractice claims. Prior to joining Willis Towers Watson, Tara served as Vice President of Operations Legal Counsel for a multi-state senior living provider. In that role, she managed long-term care litigation for over one hundred senior living campuses located in multiple states, as well as pharmacy and therapy litigation in more than a dozen states. In addition, she managed employment matters and assisted with all legal matters across the company including corporate transactions, contract review, regulatory compliance, privacy and security compliance, employee relations and risk management. She also provided senior management with strategic and operational assistance. Before moving into the role of operations counsel in 2013, Tara was a health care and commercial litigation attorney, where she represented several senior living providers, hospitals, physicians and other health care providers and health care companies by defending medical malpractice and long-term care claims. Tara also advised on regulatory matters, including health care privacy, licensure and long-term care discharge proceedings.
- Doug McSwain, Partner, Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP
Douglas McSwain is a member of the Firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Service Team. He has been a litigator, legal advisor, speaker, and writer for more than 30 years. He concentrates his practice in constitutional law, business, professional, employment, civil rights, data privacy & security, and trade law. Mr. McSwain also has experience in health care, administrative and equine law. Mr. McSwain has handled numerous multi-party wage and hour cases both administratively and in litigation. He has conducted auditing and investigative cases involving the U.S. Department of Labor and the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, as well as multi-Plaintiff cases individually suing or class and collective actions.
Director of Government Relations
ARGENTUM | Expanding Senior Living
Coronavirus Resource Page
INALA has compiled the following resource directory to provide information from CMS, ISDH, CDC and the EPA in one location. This is not, and should not, be considered an all-inclusive resource. Please check ISDH, CMS and CDC websites frequently, as information and/or directives are being released almost daily.
Resources, links, and suggested best practices for a thoughtful approach to coronavirus (COVID-19) preparation and response in senior living communities.
- Argentum’s What You Can Do Now – checklist
- Review infection prevention and control policies and procedures from the CDC
- Review emergency preparedness plan with staff and expect ISDH survey’s to be more narrowly focused on infection preparedness. Read more from CMS.
- Have a Communication Plan for all stakeholders. Download The World Health Organization Communications Package
EPA Releases List of Disinfectants to Use Against COVID-19
EPA’s Emerging Viral Pathogen Guidance was developed and finalized in 2016 to allow for a rapid response in the event of an emerging viral pathogen outbreak. It was triggered for the first time ever for SARS-CoV-2 on January 29, 2020. The guidance outlines a voluntary, pre-approval process for making emerging viral pathogens claims. In the event of an outbreak, companies with pre-approved products can make off-label claims (for example in technical literature, non-label-related websites, and social media) for use against the outbreak virus.
CMS Guidance for Nursing Homes VIEW HERE
ISDH Long Term Care Newsletter / Special Issue: COVID-19 / Coronavirus
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Division of Long Term Care is providing facilities with information related to COVID-19. It is recommended that facilities review this information and use it to educate staff and visitors.
CMS Announces Actions to Address Spread of Coronovirus
CMS calls on all health care providers to activate infection control practices and issues guidance to inspectors as they inspect facilities affected by Coronavirus. READ MORE
Video Chatting with Grandma
Study finds video chatting is the best technology to prevent loneliness in seniors reports US News and World Report.
Study says Tai Chi most effect exercise to combat dementia.
A meta-analysis of 20 studies on tai chi and cognition determined tai chi appears to improve executive function without any cognitive decline, reports Newsmax.
National Hospice and Palliative Care Month
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.
Assisted living communities must provide residents with information about flu vaccine
Licensed and non-licensed assisted living communities must provide residents with information about flu vaccine. The requirement can be met with a copy of the CDC’s vaccine information statement (VIS). Click here for the CDC VIS page.
Get your flu shot before the end of October
The CDC is recommending people get flu shots by the end of October. Learn more.
Previous and current approaches to dementia care
A New Yorker article entitled “The Comforting Fictions of Dementia Care” discusses previous and current approaches to dementia care. (Print edition of the article published October 8th is headlined “The Memory House.”)
FDA has approved sale of first self-fitting hearing aid
The FDA has approved the sale of the first self-fitting hearing aid, reports WebMD. The Bose Hearing Aid is a wireless amplifier placed in the ear canal that can be adjusted by the user through a smartphone app.
An Aspirin a Day for Older People Doesn’t Prolong Healthy Lifespan
An Aspirin a Day for Older People Doesn’t Prolong Healthy Lifespan. Read the NIH Director’s blog post.
New rules for VA Aid and Attendance
New rules for VA Aid and Attendance go into effect October 18th, 2018. The VA added a look back period for asset transfers, established net worth limits and added new medical expense deduction limitations.
Indiana no longer ranked among the nation’s fattest states
Indiana is no longer ranked among the nation’s 10 fattest states! According to a new report, 33.6% of Indiana adults are obese, giving us the 12th highest obesity rate.
Indiana hospitals racking up millions of dollars in penalties
Indiana hospitals are racking up millions of dollars in penalties for having too many patients return for care within a month of discharge. Sixty-six Hoosier hospitals will see their Medicare payments docked next year by a total of about $12 million as a result of having patients readmitted within 30 days. That’s up from $9 million in penalties three years ago. IBJ article lists the top 20 penalized hospitals.
Learn more about the INALA endorsed LifeStyle Health Plan!
Learn more about the INALA endorsed LifeStyle Health Plan! Members using the plan have been pleased.
Karen Ayersman elected to the INALA Board
Congratulations to Karen Ayersman, Residences at Deer Creek, for being elected to the INALA Board.
Sherri Berghoff, Silver Birch Senior Living, was re-elected to the Board.
North Woods Village of Edison Lakes Named the Assisted Living Community of the Year
Congratulations to North Woods Village of Edison Lakes (Mishawaka) for being named the assisted living community of the year and to all of these award winners.
- Taylor Shuey from American Senior Communities – Leader Under 40
- Angi Stoner-Gast from North Woods Village at Inverness Lakes – Outstanding Activity Director
- Jennifer Morris from Allisonville Meadows Assisted Living – Caregiver of the Year
- Bryan Friedrich from Woodland Terrace of New Palestine – Outstanding Food Services Director
- Amy Hake from North Woods Village at Inverness Lakes – Outstanding Marketing Director
- Angel Walker from Crestwood Village West & Marie Short from Riverbend – Co-Winners of Outstanding Nurse Leader
- Debbie Waziak from Brookdale Valparaiso – Outstanding Community Director
- Power Over Parkinson’s Program from Justus Senior Living – Innovation of the Year
- Healthcare Therapy Services, Inc. – Industry Partner of the Year
- Senator Vaneta Becker from Evansville – Legislator of the Year
Over 315 Aging Services professionals joined us and our partners at LeadingAge IN and HOPE for a great two-day event at the Indianapolis Marriott East. A huge thank you to all the attendees and sponsors who made the fall conference possible. We were proud! to honor colleagues at the INALA awards ceremony held during the conference.
Reported Hepatitis A Death
ISDH has reported the first death from Indiana’s Hepatitis A outbreak. The outbreak has caused nearly 4,000 illnesses in 10 states and resulted in multiple fatalities nationwide. Since November 2017, ISDH has confirmed 214 outbreak-related cases of hepatitis A. Indiana typically sees about 20 cases in a 12-month period.
Most Nursing Communities Overstated Staffing for Years, Analysis Finds
A federal data analysis by Kaiser Health News found that most U.S. nursing communities had fewer nurses and caregivers than they had reported to the government for years, according to the New York Times.
New Medicare Card Mailing Update
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services started mailing new Medicare cards to people with Medicare who live in Wave 3 states: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin. They continue to mail new cards to people who live in Wave 2 states and territories (Alaska, American Samoa, California, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon), as well as nationwide to people who are new to Medicare.
More information can be found in the following CMS article.