May 13, 2020
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published an interim final rule with comment period (IFC) requiring nursing homes to report COVID-19 cases and deaths at least weekly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This information will be made public to increase transparency in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, nursing homes are required to inform facility residents, caregivers, and families of confirmed COVID-19 cases, or if three or more residents or staff develop new-onset respiratory symptoms. Facilities must also communicate mitigation activities implemented to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
Nursing homes have been particularly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, as elderly populations are at the highest risk of being affected by COVID-19. The CDC continues to issue guidance for nursing homes to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On May 9, CMS Administrator Seema Verma issued a letter to nursing home workers which summarized the actions the agency has taken to address the spread of COVID-19 in nursing facilities. These actions include reissuing infection control guidelines, streamlining the survey process for nursing homes, advising facilities to temporarily restrict visitors, providing flexibility around staffing, and recommending states and local leaders to work with nursing homes and other providers to ensure they have sufficient personal protective equipment and testing supplies.
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