In Focus Newsletter October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

2020 Spotlight on Excellence

For over 30 years CHCA has held an annual Spotlight on Excellence Award Banquet to Celebrate Excellence among Colorado’s Long-Term Care Providers. Though this year has been significantly different for all of us, CHCA is committed to honoring the best care providers our state has to offer.  Each year, finalists are selected to be highlighted in 14 different categories, from hundreds of nominees.  Those finalists are recognized during our Spotlight on Excellence presentation.  CHCA is proud to announce our 2020 Spotlight on Excellence Finalists!

This years’ Spotlight on Excellence will be held digitally and the event will premier live on October 22, at 2:00 PM.  Participation is free, but you must reserve a spot through the Facebook event here in order to participate in the live event.  We hope you’ll take the time to help us celebrate!

Recent Events

2020 Annual Business Meeting

On October 7, 2020 the Colorado Health Care Association and Center for Assisted Living held its Annual Business Meeting. The meeting is usually held in concert with Fall Convention but was held in a virtual format this year.  We had 89 voting participants representing the facility-based membership.  The most notable action items were approval of the 2021 CHCA Budget and electing members to serve on the Board of Directors. Click here for budget highlights and election outcomes.

Message from the Chairman


As a long-time participating member of the Association, I cannot understate the importance of CHCA’s work to support the long-term care profession and I am honored to serve as Chairman of the Board.   I want to personally thank Mark Bedinger for his service and leadership as Chairman over the last 6 years.  He did a tremendous job of transitioning the Association’s leadership and has helped us grow through challenging circumstances.  I would also like to congratulate all the newly elected and re-elected members of the CHCA Board of Directors.  We are fortunate to have such an experienced and selfless group of leaders to help guide our work.  I look forward to partnering with each of you as we work through the challenges that we face around Covid and the changing political environment.  I’d like to congratulate Sarah Schumann from Brookside Inn for being elected to serve on the American Health Care Association Board of Governors.  We are fortunate to have Sarah’s voice on our national affiliate’s Board.  And finally, I would like to thank Janet Snipes for her service as a member of the AHCA Board of Governors.  On a Board full of national leaders Janet stood out as an outstanding professional, a strong advocate, and a credible voice for change and improvement.  Janet, you certainly made Colorado proud!

As we look to the future of long-term care, it is clear that we will have to rise to meet a multitude of challenges.  I strongly encourage all of our members to participate in CHCA to the fullest.  Take part in our committees, participate in our Governmental Policy and Board of Directors meetings, and share your thoughts.  Together our joint ideas and our joint commitment and turn these challenging times into opportunity.

Sincerely, John Brammeier

Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

 Official White House Photo-Delano T. Scott, Jr.

In June CMS developed the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes with the goal of creating a comprehensive review of nursing homes’ response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.  25 experts were chosen from around the country to participate on the Commission including Janet Snipes of Holly Heights Care Center in Denver (Pictured right of Vice President Pence).  The Commission’s Final Report included an analysis of systematic successes and challenges through the first four months of the pandemic, and recommendations for improvements moving forward.  Janet Snipes was part of a small group of Commission members to present the report’s findings to Vice President Pence in late September.  We have already seen some of the Commission’s recommendations operationalized and hope to see more in the coming months.  CHCA would like to recognize the outstanding service of Janet Snipes for our state and nation in these challenging times.

Keeping Up to Date

CDPHE Checklist: CDPHE has developed a Preparation and Rapid Response Checklist for residential care facilities.  All providers should consult the checklist to ensure proper preparation for potential outbreaks and ongoing operational readiness related to Covid.  The checklist will be updated by CDPHE periodically.

Indoor Visitation: CHCA is aware that significant confusion ahs been caused by the fact that the State of Colorado has issued indoor visitation guidance, which was followed by conflicting indoor visitation guidance form CMS.  CHCA has been working with the Governor’s Strike Force on Residential Care Settings to bring clarity for providers. Representatives of the state are meeting with CMS to find a path forward that can satisfy both state and federal desires with regard to indoor visitation.  Meanwhile, CDPHE has sad that providers should be following State of Colorado Indoor Visitation Guidance, and that surveyors will be surveying to only state guidance.  Both state and CMS guidance documents can be found here

Project ECHO: The federal government is partnering with Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) to launch a national Nursing Home Covid Action Network.  The purpose of the project is to advance improvements in Covid 19 preparedness, safety, and infection control.  This project launched very quickly and is in the final stages of development.  Project ECHO is currently recruiting “Hubs” in each state so serve as technical assistance and guidance.  We expect to know which organizations will be serving as Colorado hubs in the coming week.  Participation is free, and participating facilities will qualify for reimbursement to help cover the costs of participating facility staff.  Please review the ECHO Action Network FAQs for information, and a link to register your intent to participate.

PASRR Updates: The September meeting of the PASRR Stakeholder Meeting took place on September 23. The following issues were discussed:

  • There are no changes to the PASRR process at this time; advanced notice will be provided when it will change.
  • There have been no discussions at the state or federal level about an end date for the waiver process.
  • The 30 day exemption remains in effect
  • One main question that arose during the meeting: Level II NOD was in the system but the Level II itself was not, how do we access Level II.  The state’s answer was:  EqHealth is having delays in psychiatrist signatures up to 3 weeks after level II’s are done and then level II’s are to be faxed to facilities and then added in the system.  Level II’s may not be uploaded until after psychiatrist signatures. If level II copy is not available 5 weeks after level II is completed then escalate to Obi.
  • If facilities do not hear from EqHealth within 2 days of reaching out to them then the facilities need to reach out to Obi Agomoh ( to facilitate communications

Legal Survey: CHCA is aware that a number of legal actions have been filed against long term care providers across the country in relation to Covid 19.  In an effort to inform public policy and defend the profession in relation to these lawsuits, CHCA is asking that members share information about any cases that might be filed in Colorado.  Specifically, we are interested in knowing about cases that allege a failure to follow public health orders, CDC or CMS guidance related to Covid matters.  If you have questions about this request or information to share, please contact Doug Farmer (

Upcoming Education

Social Services Webinar Series:           
October 20-22

CHCA presents a three-day webinar training series that will cover topics in Social Services that are critical during these challenging times. Our experienced instructors will address the fundamental basics, updates, best practices, Requirements of Participation and Survey Readiness in the Long-Term Care Profession.

Root Cause Analysis: Friend or Foe
October 27

Participants will learn how to: Develop an incident and accident management system; Define root cause analysis; Identify the necessary training process and education for staff competency. Additionally, the need for comprehensive assessment, investigation and necessary documentation will be discussed.

40 Hour Assisted Living Administrator Training
Various Dates in October

CHCA and Margaret Ray, Consulting and Education Unlimited offer this course which includes more than 20 hours of regulatory review as well as in-depth training on business operations, nutrition, resident rights and psychosocial well-being in the elderly. This updated training includes the competency exam and successful attendees will be awarded their certificate at the end of the course.

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