AHCA Update: CMS Announces New Requirements for Reporting Confirmed Cases

At a White House briefing late today, Administrator Seema Verma announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be requiring skilled nursing care centers to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 to residents and families. SNFs will also be required to report confirmed cases directly to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Details on how to do this will be forthcoming later this week from CMS.

This announcement is similar to AHCA/NCAL guidance released last weekend (in Update #38 ) on reporting confirmed cases to stakeholders and to the state survey agency, if providers were not already doing so. The announcement by CMS late today applies only to nursing homes, so assisted living communities and facilities that serve the ID/DD population should continue to follow AHCA/NCAL’s guidance on notifications.

QSO-20-26-NH Memorandum Summary:

  • CMS is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s health care facilities are prepared to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE).

  • Communicable Disease Reporting Requirements: To ensure appropriate tracking, response, and mitigation of COVID-19 in nursing homes, CMS is reinforcing an existing requirement that nursing homes must report communicable diseases, healthcare-associated infections, and potential outbreaks to State and Local health departments. In rulemaking that will follow, CMS is requiring facilities to report this data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a standardized format and frequency defined by CMS and CDC. Failure to report cases of residents or staff who have confirmed COVID -19 and Persons under Investigation (PUI) could result in an enforcement action. This memorandum summarizes new requirements which will be put in place very soon.

  • Transparency: CMS will also be previewing a new requirement for facilities to notify residents’ and their representatives to keep them up to date on the conditions inside the facility, such as when new cases of COVID-19 occur

Read the full memorandum here: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-26-nh.pdf