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Guidance: Licensed Facilities and Local Triage Zone Questions

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) provides this guidance to licensed facilities that have been approached by local health care systems within their assigned Hospital Triage Zone regarding how the facility could support the hospital’s plans to expand hospital capacity.

The questions DODD has received focus on the ability of a licensed facility to allow people with disabilities without an intermediate care facility (ICF) level of care to utilize space in the licensed facility and the ability of a licensed facility to allow hospital employees to provide additional supportive health care services to residents of the facility.

This is DODD’s response to those questions. 

Movement of Person without ICF Level of Care into a Licensed Facility

If, as part of the Long-Term Services and Supports Pre-Surge Planning Toolkit processes, a DODD-licensed facility is approached by an Ohio Department of Health (ODH) defined Hospital Triage Zone to utilize space within their facility to enhance hospital capacity by providing housing to people with disabilities who do not have an ICF level of care (necessary for ICF admission and waiver services), the licensed facility must do the following;

  • work with the Hospital Triage Zone and local health department to implement the plan according to ODH guidance.
  • ensure that the space to be utilized by people who are not a resident of the facility can be separated from the space utilized by people who are residents of the facility (Example: people without an ICF level of care should not share bedrooms, activity areas, dining areas, etc.).
  • ensure that the service needs of the people who are not residents of the facility do not impact the availability of services to people who are residents of the facility.
  • when possible, ensure that there is a separate entrance/exit for the space to be utilized.
  • ensure that staff and personal protective equipment (PPE) are the responsibility of the entity that is placing people with disabilities into the facility.
  • ensure that people coming into and out of the separate area are following the screening guidance provided by ODH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • work with your agency legal counsel regarding any legalities that should be considered in allowing the use of your building.

Using Staff from Outside Sources to Support People in a Licensed Facility

  • If, as part of the Long-Term Services and Supports Pre-Surge Planning Toolkit processes, a DODD-licensed facility is approached by an ODH defined Hospital Triage Zone to offer health care professionals who can support services to residents of the licensed facility in an effort to keep the facility residents from needing hospitalization, thus increasing hospital capacity, the licensed facility must do the following:
    • work with the Hospital Triage Zone and local health department to implement the plan according to ODH guidance.
    • ensure that people coming into and out of the building are following the screening guidance provided by ODH and the CDC.
    • ensure that the staff from outside sources are utilizing PPE from the person’s employer while supporting people with disabilities in the building.
    • as long as the health care provider coming into the licensed facility holds a valid State of Ohio license (nursing license, therapy license, medical license, etc.), DODD will only require the following on-boarding process:
      • individual-specific training prior to providing services.
      • emergency response training specific to the site in which the person will be working.
      • Unusual Incidents/Major Unusual Incidents training
        • Definitions,
        • and how to report within this facility.
    • work with the agency legal counsel regarding any legalities that should be considered in allowing outside sources to provide support in the building.
    • staff from outside sources cannot be included in staff cost in future cost reports.