Bulletin- MSA 20-73

Angie SzumlinskiHealth

The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services recently issued a new bulletin for nursing facilities regarding Covid-19 response and policies. Its purpose is to “establish COVID Relief (CR) Facilities to allow eligible nursing facilities to retain COVID-positive residents and, with enhanced standards, under special circumstances, they will also be able to admit new COVID-positive residents when additional capacity is needed.”

In simpler terms, this bulletin, effective December 1, 2020, defines what a CR facility is and outlines participation criteria. These designated facilities are intended to care for residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are ill, but do not meet a hospital level of care. While nursing facilities that are not approved for CR facility designation must transfer their COVID-positive residents, CR facilities may retain or readmit such patients after acute care. The goal of increasing the capacity of nursing facilities to care for their own COVID-positive residents is to limit risks associated with transfer, facilitate additional oversight on infection control measures, and increase surge capacity if needed. These facilities seeking ‘COVID Relief’ designation must meet minimum participation criteria and demonstrate enhanced experience and capacity.

Nursing facilities seeking a CR facility designation must maintain standards in the following categories, defined in more detail in the bulletin:

  • Physical plant standards
  • Staffing standards
  • Infection control standards
  • Testing standards
  • CR facility communication

Please read the full bulletin to understand what this means for your facility, and for more information on how to become established as a COVID Relief Facility.

MDHHS Bulletin MSA 20-73