Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Facility Infection Prevention and Infrastructure Matching Grant – RFA closed on April 25, 2022
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has established a matching funds program that allows skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and other types of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) to apply for approximately $4.5 million in funds granted to DHS from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in early 2022. This funding is intended to support SNF and other LTCFs during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond by assisting with infection prevention and physical infrastructure needs.
DHS will grant up to 50% of the total project cost with a cap of $20,000 in distributed funds per facility or per facility license. A stipulation of these funds is that at least half of the total awarded funds must be used in Wisconsin SNFs. The remaining half will be made available to SNFs and other types of LTCFs that meet application criteria.
Through this program facilities are able to propose projects customized to their needs and that are of most value to them. However, in order to focus the scope of projects and promote equity, the application includes specific eligible categories for use of the funds. Projects can fall into more than one eligible category. Projects must be completed between November 1, 2021 and March 31, 2024 to qualify, but facilities are encouraged to use the funds for projects that have a lasting impact beyond the term of the funding to support strong infection prevention infrastructure for the health and safety of their staff and residents.
The matching funds program will remain open until funds are all awarded or March 31, 2024, whichever is sooner. Once awarded, these funds will be administered through a reimbursement process. Awardees will be required to submit a receipt after spending the funds to close out the project documentation and will be reimbursed for the pre-approved matching funds.
A stipulation of these funds is that at least half of the total awarded funds must be used in Wisconsin SNFs. The remaining half will be made available to SNFs and other types of long-term care facilities that meet application criteria.
Eligible entities include, but are not limited to:
- Wisconsin SNFs
- Wisconsin assisted living facilities
- Other types of LTCFs
Note: Each facility license is eligible to apply. For example, if a community-based residential facility and nursing home are housed under the same complex, but have separate licenses, each could apply for matching funds up to $20,000.
Staff retention or recruitment
Facilities may apply for funds that can be used for strategies to recruit new staff and retain existing staff. Examples of ways funds could be used are:
- Payment for completing classes or education programs
- Bonuses for staff
- Support for additional personnel such as dietary and laundry staff and night or weekend coverage staff
Note: Funds proposed as part of the matching funds program cannot be used for the WisCaregiver Program.
Funding can be used to develop or maintain contracts for ancillary services (phlebotomy, x-ray, transportation, lab draws, etc.) to include hiring additional staff to perform ancillary services, training existing staff to perform ancillary services, or developing other relationships to provide these essential services.
Facilities can apply for funding for supply needs that support infection prevention and control practices. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Additional shelving so that supplies are not stored on the floor or in shower rooms or so clean supplies can be separated from dirty supplies
- Covers for shelves or supplies to maintain cleanliness
- Bladder scanners
- Environmental services (EVS) supplies that minimize disease transmission (for example, products with shorter contact times, wipes instead of sprays, pre-mixed products rather than those that require staff mixing)
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) (for example, additional supplies that offer sustainability like reusable gowns or eye protection or better staff compliance such as through a staff survey of PPE preferences)
- Isolation carts or over-the-door hanging units to store isolation supplies
- Symptom screening kiosks or apps
Technology for infection prevention and control education, outbreak response, or telemedicine
Facilities could purchase tablet computers, laptops, apps, or other types of technology that can support a variety of uses. For example:
- Online education for staff
- Facility infection prevention and control process audits
- Remote infection prevention or outbreak consultations
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) improvements
Matching funds could be used to upgrade HVAC systems or purchase supplies like high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and other support systems.
How to apply
Facilities can apply by filling out the Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Facility Infection Prevention and Infrastructure Matching Grant application, F-03002. (Docx) Completed applications can be email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be detailed when providing project descriptions and budget narratives. For example, when applicable, provide the exact number of supplies being bought, the exact size of materials, or the brand of materials. See this example application for reference. For things such as staff bonuses or rate increases, please provide the number of proposed staff, amount per staff member, and criteria for determining who qualifies. See this example application for reference. These specific details are important for evaluation purposes.
Information needed to apply
The grant application will request:
- Basic demographic information about the facility, including the Medicaid occupancy rate as a way to determine underserved populations reached and promote equity in the funds used
- Funding category selection
- Total amount of the project (facilities will be eligible for up to half that total amount up to a maximum funding limit of $20,000)
- Description of the project
- Project timeline
- Rationale for selecting the project, including any plans for how its success or impact will be determined
- Project contact information
For facility improvement or construction projects of any kind, two bids, or estimates, are required to be submitted along with the application. If a facility chooses to not go with the lower of the two bids, justification for that decision will also be required.
Once an application is received, a grant administrator will review the application to ensure adherence to the application guidelines. If the application does not meet the application guidelines, it will be returned to the applicant so that it can be updated and resubmitted before the due date. Once applications are reviewed and approved, the applicant will be notified of their matching fund award by email.
In the event that there are more requests than funds available, a review panel will review applications further. Criteria used to evaluate, score, and award applications include, but are not limited to:
- The longevity and lasting impact of the project beyond the term of the funding.
- The scope of the project and the number of people who may be impacted.
- The impact the project will have on infection prevention and control.
To receive reimbursement of funds, your application must be submitted and formally approved by DHS. If your facility (or license) has received formal approval of multiple projects, a separate submission for reimbursement must be made for each project. Please note: this is a cost sharing program, meaning your facility must first pay for the project in full and can then submit for reimbursement for up to 50% of the total cost incurred, with a $20,000 maximum paid by DHS.
Additional instructions will be provided to grantees at the time of the reward. Grantees will submit an itemized invoice, with copies of all receipts, to email@example.com. The receipts must add up to the total cost of the approved project. Upon submitting your detailed invoice you will receive a confirmation of receipt or a request for additional information, if needed. After receiving confirmation, you will be contacted by a grant administrator from DHS to set up a supplier ID if your facility does not currently have one. During this set up, your facility can select the preferred method for receiving funds. Upon completion of these set up tasks, your facility can expect to receive funding after a minimum of five to six weeks.
For additional information about the Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Facility Strike Team and Infrastructure Project grant program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org