March 7-13, 2021: Nursing Home Visits & DHS Form Updates

March 7-13, 2021

This week:

  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its guidance for nursing homes to allow visitation at all times:

… facilities should allow responsible indoor visitation at all times and for all residents, regardless of vaccination status of the resident, or visitor, unless certain scenarios arise that would limit visitation for:

  • Unvaccinated residents, if the COVID-19 county positivity rate is greater than 10 percent and less than 70 percent of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated;
  • Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met the criteria to discontinue transmission-based precautions; or
  • Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.

The updated guidance also emphasizes that “compassionate care” visits should be allowed at all times, regardless of a resident’s vaccination status, the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate, or an outbreak. Compassionate care visits include visits for a resident whose health has sharply declined or is experiencing a significant change in circumstances.

  • Wisconsin DHS announced that the waitlist for home and community-based services has finally been eliminated statewide.
  • DHS also updated several publications:
  • A pair of posts on the WisLawNOW blog network discussed the COVID-19 civil liability shield signed into law in late February. The law gives businesses immunity to civil liability for COVID-19 exposure, including long-term care facilities. There is an exception for “reckless or wanton conduct or intentional misconduct.” You can read the law itself here.
  • The ABA Commission on Law and Aging published the March–April issue of its e-journal, Bifocal. It includes articles on estate planning in Indian country, restoration of rights in guardianship cases, guardianship abuse, and a book review of The Problem of Alzheimer’s.
  • Here’s an ABC News article about a woman taking a job at her father’s nursing home in Stillwater, Minnesota just so she could visit him.

Reminder: The annual Wispact Update CLE will be live webcast Friday, April 30. It’s approved for 7 CLE (1 EPR) and costs $209 for Elder Law & Special Needs Section members. See the schedule and register here. The section also has 5 scholarships available for members new to the field.


That’s all for this week.

—BSW

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