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CMS Issues Interim Final Rule on Nursing Home Reporting of COVID-19 Information

May 05, 2020

On Friday, May 1, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule that includes new requirements for nursing homes to report specific information related to COVID-19 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as to residents, their representatives, and families.  The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on May 8, 2020, which is the date the rule will go into effect. The rule will be open for a 60-day comment period beginning with its publication on May 8. 

Facilities will be required to electronically report the following information at least weekly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Healthcare Safety Network:

  • Suspected and confirmed COVID-19 infections among residents and staff
  • Residents previously treated for COVID-19
  • Total deaths and COVID-19 deaths among residents and staff
  • Personal protective equipment and hand hygiene supplies in the facility
  • Ventilator capacity and supplies available in the facility
  • Resident beds and census
  • Access to COVID-19 testing while the resident is in the facility
  • Staffing shortages
  • Other information specified by the CMS Secretary

This data will be used to monitor trends in infection rates and inform public health policy.  The information will be reported to CMS with the intention for CMS to retain and publicly report the information.

Additionally, facilities will be mandated to inform residents, their representatives, and families of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases among residents and staff in their facility.  The facilities must share this information by 5pm the day after an occurrence of either a single confirmed COVID-19 infection, or of three or more residents or staff with new respiratory symptoms that occur within 72 hours of each other.  Facilities must include information on actions they are taking to mitigate, prevent, or reduce the risk of transmission.  The rule does not require facilities to make individual telephone calls – they can issue paper notification, share the information on listservs, website postings, and/or recorded telephone messages.

Consumer Voice plans to prepare comments on the interim rule and assist advocates with submitting their own comments. Read the Rule »

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