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CMS Instructs Nursing Homes to Report COVID-19, Notify Residents and Families

April 21, 2020

CMS issued its latest guidance to nursing homes, April 19, QSO-20-26-NH, that nursing homes will be required to report to CDC suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in residents or staff, residents with severe respiratory infection resulting in hospitalization or death, or 3 or more residents or staff with new-onset respiratory symptoms within 72 hours of each other. Through rulemaking, CMS is developing a new reporting tool along with direction on formatting and frequency for reporting the information.

The guidance notes that facilities will also be required to notify residents and their representatives about conditions inside the facility. At a minimum, nursing homes will be required to inform residents and their representatives within 12 hours of the occurrence of a single confirmed infection of COVID-19, or 3 or more residents or staff with new-onset of respiratory symptoms that occur within 72 hours. Updates must be provided weekly, or each subsequent time a confirmed infection of COVID-19 is identified and/or whenever 3 or more residents or staff with new onset of respiratory symptoms occurs within 72 hours.  Facilities also must include information on mitigating actions implemented to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission, including if normal operations in the nursing home will be altered.  Failure to report could result in enforcement action against the nursing home. Read the latest guidance »

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