Regional Response Health Collaborative (RRHC) Program
Regional Congregate Care Assistive Teams
The RRHC Program ended December 30, 2020. The Wolf Administration has prioritized the allocation of limited funds to continue providing long-term care facilities (LTCF) with support during COVID-19 facility outbreaks. This state-funded effort will leverage the expertise of the health systems through the Regional Congregate Care Assistance Teams (RCAT), a more limited version of the RRHC. The program starts December 31, 2020 and will run through February 28, 2021. Those facilities that were eligible for the RRHC program will also be eligible for the RCAT.
Ten of the health systems that previously participated in the RRHC will continue to assist with rapid response when an outbreak is identified at a LTCF under the RCAT. Certain other functions of the RRHC will be managed by the LTCTF which is comprised of the following contractors: Maxim Healthcare Staffing (Maxim), Curative Labs, Inc. (Curative), General Healthcare Resources (GHR) and RCATs.
The following continued support will be offered to RCAT-eligible facilities:
- Call centers previously utilized under the RRHC program will remain available for eligible facilities to engage participating health systems for infection control/prevention services and education in the event of COVID-19 outbreaks;
- Rapid response will continue through onsite assessment teams assisting with infection control practices, identifying staffing needs, specimen collection and training needs;
- Staffing assistance will continue to be provided by contracted agencies, as well as the PA National Guard, but will be more limited;
- Testing assistance is available as resources permit through the DOH vendors. Facilities experiencing a current outbreak or support from a RRHC or DOH vendor will be enrolled in testing support first, and then the program will expand based on availability of resources; and
- The Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s Tomorrow’s Healthcare portal will still be accessible; webinars will be scheduled as needed.
The Regional Response Health Collaborative (RRHC) Program is a partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), Department of Health (DOH), Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and 10 Health Systems, including the Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. This program provides clinical and operational supports, and an educational platform for long-term care providers as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The long-term care settings served by the RRHCs are skilled nursing, assisted living and personal care home facilities. The RRHCs can provide clinical support for less acute settings that may not have on-site clinical support necessary to navigating the pandemic, such as personal care homes and assisting living facilities.
The RRHCP is based on the Educational Support and Clinical Coaching Program (ESCCP), a learning network that provided technical assistance and educational support to long-term care facilities earlier in the pandemic.
The RRHC Program has established partnerships with health systems covering six regions of the commonwealth. These partnerships allow preventative and emergent assistance between healthcare systems and long-term care facilities. The health systems involved and counties they cover are defined below and in the statewide map.
Northcentral — Geisinger Clinic
Northeast — Geisinger Clinic; Lehigh Valley Hospital Inc.
Northwest — LECOM Health; UPMC Community Provider Services in partnership with Allegheny Health Network, Jewish Healthcare Foundation and the Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania
Southcentral — The Pennsylvania State University
Southeast — Thomas Jefferson University in partnership with Main Line Health and Lehigh Valley Health Network; University of Pennsylvania in partnership with Temple University Hospital, Inc.
Southwest — UPMC Community Provider Services in partnership with Allegheny Health Network, Jewish Healthcare Foundation and the Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania
Partner Contact Information
Each RRHC maintains a 24/7 call center for long-term care facilities needing assistance.
Learn more about the RRHC Program Call Centers.
(Note: Above data reflects Skilled Nursing Facilities, Personal Care Homes, and Assisted Living Facilities.)
RRHCs are required to conduct on-site facility visits twice by the end of this program (Dec. 1, 2020). During these visits the RRHCs conduct a facility assessment, working closely with the facility's administration to assess COVID-19 preparedness and infection control procedures.
First visit — Identifies areas in which the facility may require additional support and/or education.
Second visit — Confirm how the facility is doing from the last visit and if additional supports are needed. Additional missions can be created after the visit depending on the findings and/or needs identified.
Facility needs are reviewed daily to ensure preventative and emergent assistance is provided by the RRHC teams. If an outbreak is identified and the health system team and/or facility requires additional assistance, other resources are engaged such as PEMA, National Guard and health care staffing agencies.
RRHCs are expected to provide the following support for nursing homes, personal care homes, and assisted living facilities:
- Establish a Call Center with 24/7 access that providers can access clinical consultation and technical assistance;
- Provide assistance with universal testing;
- Access to expertise in infection control;
- Deploy Rapid Response Teams in case of emergency in conjunction with DHS, DOH, and PEMA;
- Assess facility’s capability and capacity to prevent and to respond to a COVID-19 outbreak;
- Provide emergency preparedness for personal protective equipment assessment and coordination;
- Establish a statewide educational support resource for providers to have access to state and national resources;
- Assist providers with staff augmentation when needed;
- Work with DHS and DOH to conduct contact tracing; and
- Assist providers in developing and implementing plans for alternate care settings for residents if outbreaks of COVID-19 occur at facility