CMS Urging Nursing Homes to Follow Established COVID Guidelines This Holiday Season

November 19, 2020

In advance of the approaching holiday season, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is urging nursing home staff, residents and visitors to follow established guidelines for visitation and adherence to the core principles of infection prevention. These guidelines include remaining six feet apart from individuals, wearing a face covering, and limiting the number of visitors in the nursing home at any one time. Adherence to these principles is critical in preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in America’s nursing homes. While the holiday season is typically a time for family and friends to gather, CMS implores staff, residents and visitors to exercise extreme caution this year. 

To view the alert, please visit: CMS’ current emergencies page:

or here:

A copy of the press release can be found here:

Together for Quality: 2020 Health Quality Innovators of the Year Award Winners

Health Quality Innovators (HQI) today announced the winners of its fourth annual Health Quality Innovators of the Year Awards. HQI leads the Health Quality Innovation Network, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization for Kansas, Missouri, South Carolina, and Virginia and is a Hospital Quality Improvement Contractor assisting hospitals across the country.

This year’s awards demonstrate HQI’s commitment to improving health care by honoring organizations that are using innovative approaches or technologies to address COVID-19 and keeping patients, residents, and staff safe.

Click to view this year’s winners. 

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

November 19, 2020

New Information on RMOMS Program. A pilot federal grant program introduced in the 2019, Rural Maternal and Obstetric Management Strategies (RMOMS) will run until August 2023 to improve maternal care in rural communities. New information added to the website lists the three rural networks funded last year and provides more detailed information about the grantees and their activities.

CARES Act Supports Online Resource for Professional Licensure. The website for the Multi-Discipline Licensure Resource Project was created to support pandemic response through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the FORHP-supported Licensure Portability Program. Created by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, the site provides up-to-date information on emergency regulation and licensing in each state for psychologists, occupational therapists, physical assistants, and social workers. 

Emergency Call for Volunteer Health Care Professionals. The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Rural Medicine Program seeks emergency volunteers for Indian Health Service sites within the Great Plains Area. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Indian and Alaska Native persons appear to be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and insufficient public health resources may contribute to the disparity. Qualifying volunteers are physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and respiratory therapists who are currently licensed in any of the 50 US states. MGH anticipates that travel expenses will be eligible for reimbursement. Please direct questions to

CMS Will Retire the Original Compare Tools on December 1st

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will retire the original Compare Tools on December 1st. Use’s Care Compare to find and compare health care providers.

In early September, the CMS released Care Compare on, which streamlines our eight original health care compare tools. Since then, you’ve had the opportunity to use and familiarize yourself with Care Compare while having the option to use the original compare tools, too. You’ve also been able to share feedback from a survey directly on Care Compare and we’ve received lots of great feedback so far.

The eight original compare tools – like Nursing Home Compare, Hospital Compare, Physician Compare – will be retired on December 1st, ending this transition period. If you haven’t been using Care Compare, we urge you to:

  • Use Care Compare on and encourage people with Medicare and their caregivers to start using it, too. Go to and choose “Find care”.
  • Update any links to the eight original care tools on your public-facing websites so they’ll direct your audiences to Care Compare.

Care Compare offers a new design that makes it easier to find the same information that’s on the original compare tools. It gives you, patients, and caregivers one user-friendly place to find cost, quality of care, service volume, and other CMS quality data to help make informed health care decisions.

Now, instead of having to search through many compare tools, with just one click on Care Compare, you’ll find easy-to-understand information about nursing homes, hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers.

Please remember that when we retire the 8 original compare tools, you will still be able to find information about health care providers and CMS quality data on Care Compare, as well as download CMS publicly reported data from the Provider Data Catalog on Fully transitioning to these tools does not change how CMS measures quality. In addition, we’ll continue to make improvements to Care Compare and the Provider Data Catalog based on stakeholder and consumer feedback now and in the future.


Direct links to the tools & additional resources

Care Compare on –

Provider Data Catalog on –

Care Compare resources for consumers and partners – Medicare blog, Promotional video, Conference card  

Full Press Release:

Webinar: Ask National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) Any RHC and/or COVID-19 Related Question!

Date: November 23, 2020

Time: 1:00 CT


Join National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) as they tackle all the most common (and some less common) questions pertaining to RHCs and COVID-19. Topics anticipated include:

  • Provider Relief Fund 
  • Paycheck Protection Program
  • RHC COVID-19 Testing Fund Program
  • Telehealth Policy
  • Public Health Emergency Policy
  • Cost Reporting Issues

The webinar will be moderated by Nathan Baugh, the Director of Government Affairs for NARHC, and feature two extremely knowledgeable individuals on Rural Health Clinic issues:

  • Shannon Chambers, the Director of Provider Solutions for the South Carolina Office of Rural Health and a Consultant for NOSORH’s Connections for Community Care Project; and
  • Charles James Jr, the President of NARHC and the President/CEO of North American Healthcare Management Services.

This webinar is being provided free of charge. However, you must register in advance. If you have issues registering and are using Internet Explorer, try using another browser. If you continue to have issues, please contact us and we will assist you, 866.306.1961.  

For this webinar there will be no phone number to call into. You will need to join via your computer or log into the GoToWebinar app on your mobile device. When the webinar begins you will be connected to audio using your computer’s speakers.

A copy of the slides and a recording will be available within a few days after the webinar is complete at<!– –>TA_Webinars1.asp

If you have any questions about registering please email us at


Make sure you continue to report data on! Remember the deadline to get your October information into the portal is November 30th!