Grants Available for Nursing Homes to Buy Visitation Equipment for In-Person Visits

November 18, 2020, 11:35 AM HST · Updated November 18, 11:35 AM
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State seal. Photo by Wendy Osher.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health is making Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds available to Medicare-certified skilled nursing facilities to acquire visitation equipment for in-person visits from relatives and friends.

A total of $135,000 is available. Skilled nursing facilities may apply for grants up to $3,000 for equipment that includes clear barriers for indoor visits and tents for outdoor visits.

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“It has been an especially difficult time for residents of skilled nursing facilities who have been separated from their family and friends for months because of necessary restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Keith Ridley, chief of the Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance, which regulates skilled nursing facilities. “The equipment will offer a way for families to safely see each other again without putting each other’s health and wellbeing at risk.”

This past summer, the health department disbursed $30,000 from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) civil monetary penalty (CMP) to 23 skilled nursing facilities to purchase communication devices to allow their residents to virtually stay in touch with their family and friends during the current pandemic.

Skilled nursing facilities have until Nov. 27, 2020 to submit grant applications.

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