Letter From CMS Administrator to Nursing Home Workers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma penned a letter to nursing home management and staff. Administrator Verma shared her gratitude for the unwavering dedication and commitment of nursing home management and staff in keeping residents safe and for continuing to compassionately care for those who rely on them during this unprecedented time. The letter also provides links to previously shared infection control resources. Letter

Nursing Homes OUTSIDE Indiana

Can’t keep up with all the COVID-19 information? Unsure about where to find the information you need?

Contact a Quality Improvement Advisor

Email: NHAssist@Qsource.org
Call: (423) 202-2561
(615) 574-7244

Infection Control in Indiana Nursing Homes

Nursing Homes in Indiana - click here to contact a Quality Improvement Advisor

Contact a Quality Improvement Advisor

Email: TechAssist@Qsource.org
Call: (317) 628-1145

If you are a nursing home in Indiana, please join our Nursing Home Network to receive tools and technical assistance to improve infection control practices. Click here to learn more.


The QTips Podcast is a weekly series of timely tips and in-depth looks at topics affecting Nursing Homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are created as part of the work Qsource does as the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization for Indiana under a contact with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMD). While Indiana is the original focus of this work, the content and topics are common among nursing homes across the United States. We hope you find them useful.


Assistance Overview during COVID-19 | Listen to Podcast

Learn how Qsource can assist you during the COVID-19 Pandemic. We’re working with the Indiana State Department of Health and the Long Term Care Trade Associations to ensure we are providing the most up-to-date and accurate information to nursing homes. From Infection Prevention and Control Programs and tools and resources to virtual onsite assistance and staff learning opportunities, we’ve got you covered. Listen to this podcast to see how we can help and contact us TODAY!

Personal Care Assistant Waiver during COVID-19 | Listen to Podcast

Indiana has initiated a temporary COVID-19 Personal Care Attendant Waiver allowing nursing homes to employ a trained Personal Care Attendant to perform defined resident care procedures that do not require skill or training required as a Certified Nurse Aide. This podcast looks at these requirements and how Qsource can assist.

Temporary Blanket Waivers for Resident Care Facilities | Listen to Podcast | Transcript

During this podcast, QI Advisor Teresa Hostettler explains the Third Emergency Order Granting Temporary Blanket Waivers for Residential Care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to employing dining assistants in nursing facilities that went into effect on March 6.

Voluntary Resident Leave of Absence During COVID-19 | Listen to Podcast | Transcript

Listen to QI Advisor Teresa Hostettler give a detailed explanation of the Voluntary Resident Leave of Absence policy nursing homes should follow during the COVID-19 pandemic and what measures should be taken to assure the safety of residents and staff.

Caring for Residents and Families Mental Health | Listen to Podcast | Transcript

Across this nation, Americans find themselves in social isolation as a part of the coordinated efforts to try and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Navigating this time of social limitations and social distancing can be confusing, depressing and lonely. Fear and anxiety about this disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Coping with this “new” situation can be vital to the well- being of yourself, your family and your community. This podcast will assist in finding creative measures to show support and care during these difficult, challenging times.

MDS and Case Management in the midst of COVID-19 | Listen to Podcast | Transcript

COVID-19 is affecting everything we do every moment of the day. But life still goes on. And so do many of the requirements the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has outlined for quality reporting. This podcast addresses how the virus is impacting operations from an MDS and Case Management point of view.

Recommendations for Residents and Employees with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 | Listen to Podcast

It is crucial to assist in the management of containing COVID-19 while following the most recent information from the CDC, ISDH and local health departments. All facilities should ensure following these guidelines for all current information for practice and policy updates and they are changing at a rapid pace as new developments and information are emerging on what seems to be a daily basis.

Handwashing Techniques | Listen to Podcast

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from one person to the next. Sounds easy enough right? In this podcast, we will talk about when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy.

Activity Resources and Programming Ideas during COVID-19 | Listen to Podcast

COVID-19 has impacted many areas of our lives, but not many have been more impacted than our activities and socializing. Socialization is a key factor for nursing home residents – it keeps them engaged and keeps them connected. Although activities and programming will be different, you can still manage to keep physical distance among residents while maintaining social connections. In this podcast, we will talk about resources and ideas for activities and programming during COVID-19 and beyond.

Conserving PPE | Listen to Podcast

There are several strategies to assist in conserving PPE and this podcast will explore each option and strategies in accordance with the current COVID-19 crisis only.

COVID-19 Infection Control Binder | Webinar Overview | Webinar TranscriptPart 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Understanding proper procedures, protocols, and preparations are needed to fight COVID-19 has proven to be a challenge for all involved in providing care. During this webinar, we will examine and discuss the elements and resources available in the COVID-19 Infection Control Binder currently available to all facilities. This presentation will be an overview of the binder and highlight the information you need to get started on using the binder.

For more in-depth learning, Qsource has developed a comprehensive resource binder for nursing homes as a guide to managing COVID-19 in collaboration with the Indiana State Department of Health, CDC and other state trade associations to meet the COVID-19 response emergency preparedness plan. An overview of the binder is presented in a webinar below. This three-part series is an in-depth look at all tabs, contents and intended use for the binder.


Each week Qsource hosts a short Q&A Office Hours webinar focusing on timely topics and examining policy, procedures and processes for quality improvement.

COVID-19 Focused Survey for Nursing Homes | View Webinar

Federal and State Inspectors will begin conducting targeted infection control inspection of providers identified through a CMS collaboration with the CDC. These inspectors will use a streamlined target review checklist to minimize the impact on provider activities, while ensuring providers are implementing actions to protect the health and safety of our LTC residents and healthcare workers. Qsource and the Indiana Health Care Association provide education on targeted areas of the survey and identify resources to assist in the critical steps needed to ensure a facility is prepared.

How to Safely and Effectively Handle Vendors in Your Facility During COVID-19 | View Webinar

Protecting your patients, staff, and those who visit your facility is of dire importance during this global epidemic. This presentation provides guidance on how to screen and oversee vendors coming to your facility and identify the criteria for essential and non-essential workers.

Skilled Nursing Facilities and Telemedicine | View Webinar | Transcript

Becky Sanders, a regional telemedicine expert, as she discusses providing telemedicine to SNF residents, waivers during COVID-19 and updated modifiers for telemedicine reimbursement. Joni Hollister shares her first-hand experience and lessons learned about using telemedicine technology in the nursing home setting. Learn what technology is needed for both patient and clinician, how to implement in your facility and understand billing requirements for telemedicine services.

Hot Topics with MDS and Managed Care in the face of COVID-19 | View Webinar

An in-depth review of isolation procedures and when they can be coding on the Minimum Data Set and diagnosis coding for COVID19, Medicare waivers, and potential state reimbursement efforts for COVID19 designated facilities.

Compassion Fatigue: Combatting Vicarious Stress and PTSD in a Time of Pandemic | View Webinar | Transcript

This 30-minute presentation will focus on mental health concerns of developing compassion fatigue, vicarious stress, and PTSD during this time of uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic

EMS Response to Coronavirus and Patient Considerations | View Webinar | Transcript

This presentation discusses EMS and their directives from the State Medical Directors on how we can screen for wellness and general precautions during and between calls. The majority of this session will focus on policies associated with the safety for EMS and nursing home staff, residents and their families.

Navigating NHSN: Enrollment and Data Entry | View Webinar | Transcript

This webinar discusses the steps for both the full traditional enrollment as well as the COVID-19 modified enrollment process for NHSN. It also provides an overview of how to enter your data and the technical assistance that Qsource can provide initially to help with the enrollment procedure as well as with data entry on a continued ongoing basis.

Medication Considerations During the Pandemic: FAQs and Emerging Issues | View Webinar | Transcript

This session looks at: the latest evidence on antiviral drugs that may be effective against COVID-19, how those may be used for supportive care, recommendations on drugs used to treat certain chronic diseases in regards to COVID-19, and a discussion on the emerging issue of clotting abnormalities in COVID-19 patients.

Next Steps and Update on Focused Survey Findings during COVID-19 | View Webinar | Transcript

Guest speaker Brenda Buroker with the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), Division of Long Term Care presents an overview of the next steps for the ISDH and what findings the state survey teams are encountering when conducting their focused surveys in LTC facilities.