Long-Term Care Professionals & Providers

COVID-19 Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Long-Term Care Advisory Group

An advisory group has been formed to address pandemic-related issues affecting long-term care providers. The group is comprised of members of state government, industry representatives, labor representatives, and other stakeholders.

Advisory Group Purpose Statement

The purpose of this Long-Term Care Facilities COVID-19 Advisory Group is to:

  • Communicate across agencies and across advisory group representation what is needed to fully support residents, families, providers and facility staff in response to the COVID-19. 
  • Share information that has been captured from other groups and sources with the goal of coordinating the many channels of information that are occurring as a result of COVID-19 response.
  • Advise agencies and local jurisdictions on policy decisions and practices related to COVID-19 response in long-term care facilities and home and community-based programs.
  • The activities of this group are specific to COVID-19 related needs.  Unless the group decides to adjourn earlier, once the threat of the pandemic is past, activities of this advisory group will terminate.
Represented long-term care facilities include adult family homes, skilled nursing facilities, supported living agencies, and assisted living facilities.

Meeting Agendas:

Meeting Minutes:

Infection Control and Prevention

COVID-19 Guidance for Home Care Workers

This document details important safety measures for home care workers to protect themselves and their clients. It is also available in a variety of languages:
















Home and Community Services (HCS) - Hospital Surge Guidance

HCS has issued a statewide plan to surge activities at acute care hospitals to determine eligibility, plan services, and find viable community alternatives.

Appendix K Waivers

Appendix K waivers have been filed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. These waivers temporarily modify some processes of care, provider qualifications, service limitations, and other guidelines. Providers should stay current with these waivers to optimally respond to COVID-19.

Provider Rate Enhancements

The outbreak of COVID-19 has burdened providers with increased costs. Emergency rate enhancements have been extended to providers to offset some of these increased expenses.

Home and Community Services (HCS) Rate Enhancements

Home Care Agencies will receive a 20% rate increase for May and June. HCAs that serve clients with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 will receive an additional $1 per hour.

Individual Providers will receive an additional $3 per hour for hours worked during May and June. They will also receive a one-time $100 stipend, per client, for cleaning supplies. DSHS will make additional contributions towards health benefits and increased training sessions to support social distancing within classrooms.

  • H20-047 details rate enhancements for Home Care Agencies.
  • H20-037 details a rate add-on for Home Care Agencies committed to serving clients suspected or confirmed of COVID-19 infection.
  • H20-043 details rate enhancements for Individual Providers.

Residential Care Services (RCS) Rate Enhancements

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services have increased Federal Match Assistance Percentages (FMAP), resulting in an effective 12-15% rate increase for facilities.

Admitting nursing home facilities will receive an exceptional rate of $100 per client per day atop regular rates for admitting a hospitalized client who transitions to their facility during the surge period.

DSHS has also begun establishing contracts with providers that can establish buildings or wings that can provide services dedicated to COVID+ residents. These COVID+ facilities will receive an enhanced daily rate of $450/day.

ALTSA issued a “Dear Provider” letter on May 4 that details rate increases for Assisted Living Facilities and Adult Family Homes.

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Webinar Questions and Answers

ALTSA holds routine webinars to share important guidance and collect questions. Review these documents for answers to common questions.

  • April 16, 2020 Webinar Q&A - FMAP, PPE, training and certification requirements, COVID-19 testing requirements, nurse delegation.
  • May 15, 2020 Webinar Q&A - COVID-19 testing, cohorting, visitation restrictions, clarification of "end-of-life" circumstances.
Additional Guidance for Providers

Guidance for Individual Providers

The work performed by Individual Providers is considered essential under the Governors Proclamation 20-25. Your clients may need you more than ever during this outbreak, but we encourage steps to reduce close contact and require that you contact your client and case manager in the event you feel ill yourself. See our Guide for Individual Providers for more information.

ALTSA Response to COVID-19

The Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA) has reacted to the COVID-19 outbreak by securing federal waivers to afford providers much-needed flexibility in care delivery, and by delivering timely guidance to providers and facilities. Our guidance consolidates input from Governor Jay Inslee, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and other authoritative bodies.

Help, Hotlines, and Guidelines

Washington State Department of Health Coronavirus Call Center

  • 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

Washington State Department of Health Web Resources

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Applicable to federally certified programs such as nursing facilities and ICF/IIDs

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Washington State Coronavirus Response Website

DSHS Aging and Long-Term Support Administration

Safe Start for Long-Term Care

Safe Start for Long-Term Care

On Aug. 6, Governor Inslee announced the Safe Start for Long-Term Care plan. Effective Aug. 12, the plan establishes criteria for long-term care facilities to safely conduct visitation. The plan also prescribes policy related to trips outside the facility, communal dining and group activities, testing and screening, source control and PPE, and staffing.

A summary is available here.