For most of us, the novel Coronavirus is unchartered territory. Like you, we are actively monitoring this situation and making informed, risk-based decisions and recommendations as circumstances evolve.
We have compiled guidance from trusted and reputable resources – the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) – to share with you in hopes that it will save you time, assist you in navigating this situation, and minimize the risks of spreading the illness among the residents you serve, especially those at higher-risk, including those over 65 or with underlying health issues.
We know the current state of affairs has changed the way you operate – at least for the time being. CMS, in connection with the President’s national emergency declaration this afternoon, announced its intention to release updated guidance restricting all visitors, including court-ordered GALs. We are coordinating efforts with local Medicaid agencies and state and local courts to enable telephonic and video-based hearings, waive personal service and original signature requirements, and postpone deadlines if needed. A comprehensive guide as to these adjustments will be distributed to all clients.
As you have adjusted your systems for the benefit of your residents, we are working to adjust ours to continue to meet your needs, while insuring the safety and well-being of our team. We have established a SHG COVID-19 Committee including our Firm Administrator, South Carolina Partner, Senior Associate representatives, Head Paralegal and other members of SHG’s HR, IT, and Finance departments. Our entire team of attorneys is remote, positioning us in the unique situation of being able to continue to provide legal services with minimal disruption. We have issued guidelines for our South Carolina based-staff to insure their safety, however, if we need to transition our South Carolina office staff to remote positions in response to this rapidly-changing situation, we have the necessary plans in place to do so quickly and without impacting the legal services we provide to you. We want you to know that we will be here for you for the duration of this situation.
We will continue to actively monitor the situation and immediately provide any updates that impact your business or assist in the efforts being undertaken to flatten the curve so that we may all, hopefully, return to our normal routines soon. We welcome you to contact either of us directly with any questions, comments, and concerns.
Betsy Stotler, Managing Partner