Nursing Homes Reporting of COVID-19 Due to CMS Ruling

A new interim rule from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires nursing homes to submit weekly reports related to COVID-19 cases among facility residents and staff. Nursing homes already communicate this information to local health departments, however, more than 15,000 nursing homes will now also report directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Nursing homes have been ground zero for COVID-19,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Nursing home reporting to the CDC is a critical component of the go-forward national COVID-19 surveillance system and to efforts to reopen America.”

Nursing Homes Reporting COVID-19

COVID-19 reporting will include infection and death data at nursing facilities, with the first round due no later than May 8th. American Health Care Association has updates and explanations of the rule found here. “We believe that these reporting requirements are necessary for CMS to monitor whether individual nursing homes are appropriately tracking, responding, and mitigating the spread and impact of COVID-19 on our most vulnerable citizens, personnel who care for them, and the general public,” CMS states. The information can be used to inform residents, families, and communities of the current status of cases in their area.

 Warning Residents of COVID-19 Cases

That’s not all the final rule does. Operators are required to ramp up the disclosure of COVID cases to residents, families, and their representatives. If a facility discovers a positive COVID-19 case or three or more residents and staff begin displaying new respiratory systems within a 72-hour span, operators must notify residents’ families by 5 pm. the following day. Nursing Home operators will not have to make individual calls one by one, but can instead use website postings, recorded messages, and or listservs to get the message out as quickly as possible.

How do you think these new rules from CMS will help identify and slow the spread of COVID-19? Let us know below in the comment section. Have a topic you want to be covered? Comment and leave us a topic suggestion you’d like us to write an article on.


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