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CMS Issues New Guidance on Nursing Home Compare Updates, Nursing Home Staff Counts and FAQs

April 28, 2020

CMS announced on April 24, 2020, that they will temporarily hold constant the health domain of the Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System because of the prioritization and suspension of certain surveys.  This will start with an April 29, 2020 update to the website.

The results of health inspections conducted after March 4, 2020 will be posted here on the Nursing Home Compare website, but will not be used to calculate a nursing home’s health inspection star ratings.

(CMS has also waived timeframe requirements for submitting resident assessment data and staffing data by certain deadlines.  This will not impact the April update of the website.)

Additionally, CMS will publish the average number of nursing and total staff that work each day onsite in a nursing home.  This information will be based on the 2019 Calendar quarter 4 and will likely not reflect the actual conditions in facilities at this time.  However, CMS believes this information can help identify facility needs and help support local, state, and federal agency response to COVID-19.

CMS has also released Frequently Asked Questions to clarify recent guidance and to provide additional information.  They cover a variety of topics including:  Individuals Entering and Leaving Nursing Homes; Waivers of Federal Requirements; Resident Cohorting, Separation, and Admission; and Surveys and Infection Control Self-Assessment.

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