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State expands financial assistance for COVID-19 testing in Homes for the Aged

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced an expansion of state assistance and reimbursement on Tuesday aimed at helping Homes for the Aged (HFA) conduct regular testing for COVID-19.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced an expansion of state...
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced an expansion of state assistance and reimbursement on Tuesday aimed at helping Homes for the Aged (HFA) conduct regular testing for COVID-19.(KY3)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 6:22 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced an expansion of state assistance and reimbursement on Tuesday in an effort to help Homes for the Aged (HFA) conduct regular testing for COVID-19.

HFAs provide room, board and supervised personal care to 21 or more individuals ages 55 or older. Due to the significant risk of outbreaks in long-term care facilities and the higher likelihood of severe health outcomes caused by COVID-19 among the elderly, it is imperative that HFAs provide routine testing to identify infections quickly and contain spread, according to a press release from the Michigan State Police.

As of September 10, 45 ongoing outbreaks and four new outbreaks were reported at long-term care facilities across Michigan, including nursing homes, HFAs, assisted living and adult day care.

“COVID-19 presents acute risks to older adults, especially in congregate care settings. Robust testing is vital to protect those facilities, and the residents and staff from outbreaks,” said Robert Gordon, director of MDHHS. “We encourage all Homes for the Aged to start testing programs to protect residents as quickly as possible if they haven’t already; the state stands ready to help with testing resources and funding.”

MDHHS recommends HFAs in regions of medium risk or higher on the MI safe Start Map to test all residents and staff:

  • One-time baseline testing of all residents and staff
  • weekly testing until all staff and residents are negative for 14 days since the last positive test
  • at the time of admission of new residents
  • before staff members start work
  • when having COVID symptoms
  • After close contact with a COVID-positive individual (within six feet for fifteen minutes or more)

In order to implement these recommendations, MDHHS is providing expanded testing assistance and reimbursement. HFAs that conduct COVID-19 testing for residents or staff will be eligible for reimbursement of laboratory costs not covered by insurance or by other types of state assistance. Facilities can alternatively seek state assistance to conduct testing. The state can provide medical staff, supplies, and/or lab processing, depending on the facility’s needs.

The latest information on the State of Michigan’s response to COVID-19 is available at Michigan.gov/coronavirus

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