Funding available to Tennessee nursing homes for COVID-19 visitation assistance

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FILE – In this June 25, 2020, file photo, residents at the Southern Pines nursing home are separated and wear face coverings during their daily bingo game in Warner Robins, Ga. A new report says COVID-19 cases in U.S. nursing homes jumped nearly 80% earlier this summer, driven by rampant spread across the South and much of the West. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Health is encouraging nursing homes to apply for funding for aids to facilitate in-person visitation amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allows use of Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment funds to provide nursing homes with in-person visitation aids. Funding is strictly for in-person visitation, which includes purchase and/or rental of tents or other shelter for outdoor visitation, and/or clear dividers to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during in-person visits.

The maximum funding request is $3,000 per nursing home, which can include installation, materials and shipping costs.

“We remain committed to our comprehensive and diligent efforts to protect the health and safety of our nursing homes residents, and we’re pleased to offer this opportunity to support  facilities in preventing COVID-19 transmission during in-person visitation,” Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said.

The TDH CMP Program is also accepting applications for communication technology funding for nursing homes. Devices purchased through this funding support telehealth and virtual visitation.

The maximum request of this funding is $3,000 per nursing home; however, requests for funding exceptions can be considered in certain circumstances, such as a facility with a large resident population.

The CMP program offers opportunities for organizations to submit proposals for projects that will improve health outcomes and quality of care for Tennessee’s nursing home residents. Applications are due Nov. 6. Applications and other information including sample contracts are available online at www.tn.gov/health/funding-opportunities.html.

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