New Guidance from CMS

April 20, 2020

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance on recommendations to re-open facilities to provide non-emergent non-COVID-19 healthcare and new nursing home reporting requirements.

These recommendations to re-open facilities apply if states or regions have passed the White House Gating Criteria, which were announced on April 16. CMS notes that these recommendations are the first in what will be a series of recommendations to guide healthcare systems and facilities as they consider resuming in-person care for non-COVID-19 patients in regions with low incidence of COVID-19 disease. CMS still strongly encourages the maximum use of all telehealth modalities. A CMS press release is available here.

CMS also announced new regulatory requirements that will require nursing homes to inform residents, their families and representatives of COVID-19 cases in their facilities. In addition, as part of President Trump’s Opening Up America, CMS will now require nursing homes to report cases of COVID-19 directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  This information must be reported in accordance with existing privacy regulations and statute. This measure augments longstanding requirements for reporting infectious disease to state and local health departments. Finally, CMS will also require nursing homes to fully cooperate with CDC surveillance efforts around COVID-19 spread.

IHA has prepared a summary memo for members outlining both CMS items above.