CMS Update: CMS Guidance on COVID-19 NF Transfer Scenarios
Updated: May 1
CMS is providing supplemental information for transferring or discharging residents between facilities for the purpose of cohorting residents based on COVID-19 status (i.e., positive, negative, unknown/under observation).
LTC Facility Transfer Scenarios
In response to the recent questions related to cohorting, CMS is providing supplemental information for transferring or discharging residents between facilities. In general, if two or more certified LTC facilities want to transfer or discharge residents between themselves for the purposes of cohorting, they do not need any additional approval to do so. However, if a certified LTC facility would like to transfer or discharge residents to a non-certified location for the purposes of cohorting, they need approval from the State Agency. Please see the attachment, “LTC Facility Transfer Scenarios” for a depiction and explanation of these scenarios.
Two or more certified long term care (LTC) facilities (SNFs and/or NFs) transfer patients between facilities to create a COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 facility. Allowed under Blanket Transfer Waiver without additional approval. Each certified facility bills Medicare for the residents in their facility.
Transfer residents from one or more certified LTC facilities to a non-certified location that is state approved and where residents must be cared for by LTC facility staff. Medicare reimbursement remains with the LTC facility caring for patients in the new location. This location could be utilized by multiple LTC facilities, providing care with their own staff.
Transfer of COVID-19 residents to Federal/State run facility staffed with Federal or State personnel: Transfers by Order of Governmental Authority (e.g., FEMA) and no reimbursement to the LTC facility.