Tags Posts tagged with "HAN"


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Message From Kevin Dressler, Bureau Director, Office of Developmental Programs (ODP):

Some recent updates:

CMS 1135 Waiver Discontinuation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an update on April 7, 2022, that will discontinue many of the 1135 waiver components over the next 30 and 60 days. This Quality, Safety, and Oversight (QSO) update returns many of the identified items in the 1135 waiver to their previous regulatory statuses, and the ICFs will need to be in compliance with the changes by the date specified. Please review the QSO carefully and assure that your ICFs are compliant by the dates specified.

Health Alert Network Updates

I have attached the four latest HANs regarding COVID related items. HAN 633 and HAN 635 address facilities that are testing people in-house and the new reporting requirements. HAN 634 addresses treatment recommendations for people that have contracted COVID-19. Lastly, HAN 632 addresses who is eligible for the vaccine boosters. Please review the recent HANs and adjust your policies and practices as you deem appropriate.

Emergency Exercises

Please see ‘Orchid Phoenix 2022 TTX Registration,’ as it has the registration information for an upcoming Emergency Preparedness Exercise that is available for ICFs to participate in if you would like to do so. This is a similar type of exercise as we completed last year, with a different emergency event as the topic. Please review for details on registration and participation requirements.

Kevin Dressler | Bureau Director
Department of Human Services
Office of Developmental Programs
Bureau of State Operated Facilities
Room 508 Health & Welfare Bldg | Harrisburg, PA 17120
Office Phone: 717-425-5686
Cell Phone: 570-809-3759
Fax: 717-787-6583

From Kevin Dressler, Office of Developmental Programs (ODP):

Updated HANs dealing with Work Restrictions and Return to Work Guidance for Healthcare Workers With COVID-19 Exposure:

HAN 621

This guidance replaces PA-HAN-616. Information has been added to clarify the recommendations in consultation with CDC as well as to incorporate changes that have been made by CDC on January 21, 2022. Language has changed from using the term “boosted” in PA-HAN-616 to instead describe persons as being “up-to-date” with vaccine doses. This guidance pertains only to the healthcare personnel and their need for work restriction. For guidance on isolation and quarantine in the community, please refer to PA-HAN-615 or its successor.

This update includes clarification that:

  • Being up-to-date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses includes persons who have completed a primary vaccine series at least 2 weeks prior but are not yet eligible for a booster shot per current CDC guidelines.
  • A person is considered up-to-date immediately after receipt of the booster dose; there is no waiting period following a booster.
  • In general, asymptomatic Healthcare Personnel (HCP) who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 90 days do not require work restriction following a higher-risk exposure; however, it should be considered in certain circumstances.

If you have additional questions about this guidance, please contact DOH at 877-PA-HEALTH (877-724-3258) or your local health department.

HAN 622

Due to concerns about increased transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, this guidance is being updated to enhance protection for healthcare personnel (HCP), patients, and visitors, and to address concerns about potential impacts on the healthcare system given a surge of SARS-CoV-2 infections. These updates will be refined as additional information becomes available to inform recommended actions.

Updates include:

  • Antigen testing is preferred if testing symptomatic HCP who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 90 days. If tests are in short supply, they should be prioritized to diagnose infection.
  • Added additional information to strategies to mitigate healthcare personnel staffing shortages.

If you have additional questions about this guidance or would benefit from discussion to support infection prevention and control decisions in your facility, please contact DOH at 877-PA- HEALTH (877-724- 3258) or your local health department.

ICF Taskforce Meeting

Date/Time: 2-24-22 from 1:00 pm–3:00 pm
Meeting Registration Link  

After registration, you will receive another link via email that will be used the day of the meeting. Also, from the registration link, you will be able to add an event to your calendar that will contain the meeting link for that day.

As always, if you have any topics that you would like to discuss, please pass them along to me.

Kevin Dressler | Bureau Director
Department of Human Services
Office of Developmental Programs
Bureau of State Operated Facilities
Room 508 Health & Welfare Bldg | Harrisburg, PA 17120
Office Phone: 717-425-5686

A Message from Kevin Dressler:

Health Alert Updates

Please see the three Health Alert Network (HAN) updates from the Department of Health regarding treatment for COVID positive people, as well as work restrictions for exposure and return to work guidance. These HANs have been updated over the past two weeks, can be of assistance in updating your COVID response plans, and have components built into them to assist in mitigating staff shortages.

You can also find information at the DOH HAN website.

Department of Health Division of ICF

I would like to announce to the group and welcome Susan DiFuccia as Acting Chief of the Division of ICF. She replaces Orlando Hernandez, whom recently retired after an honorable career in the DOH Division of ICF. Susan has been the Supervisor for the Jackson Center and Pittsburgh DOH survey teams for many years as well as a respected member of the DOH Division of ICF, whom will thrive in her new role.

ICF Taskforce Meeting

The next ICF Taskforce Meeting will be held on February 24, 2022, from 1:00 pm–3:00 pm. A link to the meeting will be forthcoming. If you have any specific topics, please send them to me for possible inclusion in the meeting agenda.

6600 Regulations Update

The 6600 regulations update will be shared for public comment in the coming weeks. Please look for them and provided comments as designated in the announcement. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the regulations at the next ICF Taskforce Meeting.