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Request for Applications for Communicative Technology

Issued: May 18, 2020; Updated: June 24, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of COVID-19. This guidance directs nursing homes to significantly restrict visitors and nonessential personnel to protect nursing home residents. Pennsylvania has received approval to use funds from Civil Money Penalties (CMP) for technology that allows residents to engage in virtual social and telehealth visits as restrictions have been placed on visitors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

If your facility is interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please:

    1. Review the attached Frequently Asked Questions for State Medicaid Agencies document.
    2. Complete the attached fillable, electronic template application developed by CMS. The request must be for communicative technology, such as tablets and accessories including headphones and tablet protectors, for use by nursing homes, other healthcare providers, and state agencies.

Please submit both forms to by Monday, August 31, 2020. This date has been extended from the original deadline of May 31, 2020.  

Once your application has been approved and equipment has been purchased, you will need to complete the attached Commonwealth of Pennsylvania General Invoice. Only those sections highlighted in Yellow need to be completed by the Nursing Facility. Please make sure that the description and costs of the communicative technology on the invoice and the CMS application match. 

Parameters for state approval of allowable uses of CMP funds for communicative technology:

    • Facilities may use up to $3,000 for communicative technology.
    • Applicants must only include requests for funds to purchase communicative technology devices (e.g. iPads, tablets, webcams) and accessories (e.g. headphones, protective covers). The application should not include requests for items identified as prohibited (travel, administrative costs).
    • Devices must be able to support both virtual social and telehealth visits (e.g. the devices must connect to the internet, have appropriate installed software such as FaceTime or GoogleMeet). If the application does not indicate that the technology can or will be used to facilitate such visits, the application will be denied.
    • Devices may be shared among residents, with a ratio of one device to 7-10 residents. Facilities will not be permitted to purchase personal devices for any resident.  Any such requests should be denied. Devices should not be shared between COVID-19 positive (or exhibiting symptoms) and other residents (COVID-19 negative or observation status). Devices must be cleaned and disinfected between residents.
    • Applications or requests for exceptions could be considered in certain circumstances, such as the case of a facility with a large number of residents. These applications will be forwarded to CMS to be reviewed on a case by case basis.

If you have any questions regarding this email, please contact the Office of Long TermLiving at 717-772-2570 or send your inquiry to

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