August 13, 2020

Coronavirus Updates and Resources

COVID-19 has led to outbreaks of respiratory illness in the U.S. and cases keep increasing. Providers of all types care for some of the most vulnerable Texans and must stay up to date with all guidance and recommendations from the CDC, HHSC, DSHS and other reliable sources. Below are key resources for providers.

CDC

HHSC

DSHS

FDA

The FDA has identified several alcohol-based hand sanitizers labeled to contain ethanol, that tested positive for methanol or 1-propanol. Methanol (or wood alcohol) and 1-proponal can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. Exposure to methanol, particularly when ingested, can lead to nausea, vomiting and blurred vision. More severe adverse events include permanent blindness, seizures and death. More information, including a list of the sanitizers found to contain methanol or 1-propanol, is available on the FDA website.

Guidance to NFs on Coordination with Managed Care Organizations

NF providers are contractually required to inform a member’s MCO service coordinator of certain changes, including:

  • Diagnosis of COVID-19
  • Member has left the NF
  • Member requests to return to the community

Find complete information on the TMHP document (PDF).

Quality in Long-Term Care Conference Update

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, HHS is having the Quality in Long-Term Care conference online. This replaces the event scheduled at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort. Access presentations on the HHS Learning Portal beginning Aug. 31. They will remain available for up to one year.

Our four keynote speakers will be presenting live on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. View the presentations on the registration links below.

The keynotes will be recorded and uploaded to the Learning Portal.

In June 2020, the Texas Nurses Association ended the practice of reviewing and approving continuing education for nurses. HHSC received approval to award continuing education credit through the Louisiana State Nurses Association, an Accredited Approver through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Continuing education hours awarded through the LSNA will be accepted by the Texas Board of Nursing.

Influenza Season 2020

The focus over the last few months has been on the COVID-19 pandemic, but long-term care facilities should also prepare for the upcoming flu season. This includes plans for providing influenza vaccinations to staff and residents, and for managing any influenza outbreaks that occur.

The CDC’s Seasonal Influenza webpage provides guidance for vaccination and outbreak management. Specific guidance for vaccination during a pandemic is also available.

QAPI Update

To address issues that arise due to COVID-19, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement  and the John Hartford Foundation have partnered to offer a daily, 20-minute National Nursing Home Huddle. This huddle gives participants real-time solutions for problems created or made worse by the pandemic. A free account with IHI is necessary to access the huddle. Pre-registration is required and a simple sign-in allows access daily. The John Hartford website also offers many other resources for long-term care, with an emphasis on care of the geriatric population. The huddle takes place at 11 a.m. CST. Check it out!

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