Covid-19 Under Electron Microscope

On May 8, 2020, CMS will publish an interim final rule with comment period, titled “Medicare and Medicaid Programs, Basic Health Program, and Exchanges; Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Delay of Certain Reporting Requirements for the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program”.

The unpublished rule is available for public inspection at the Federal Register website (Agency Docket: CMS-5531-IFC and Regulation ID Number (RIN): 0938-AU32).

Prior to the COVID-19 PHE and this interim final rule, LTC facilities (i.e., skilled nursing facilities and/or nursing facilities) were required to have written standards, policies and procedures regarding infection control, to include when and to whom possible incidents of communicable disease or infections should be reported, such as to local/state health authorities. In an effort to support surveillance of COVID-19 cases and increase transparency for residents, their representatives, and families, CMS has added to the infection control requirements provisions to establish reporting for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases at new §483.80(g).

On May 6, CMS issued a memo and frequently asked questions addressing the new requirement. CMS also held a call for all nursing homes on May 6. The call addressed these new reporting requirements. The recording and transcript of this call will be available soon on the CMS Web site.

Access the CMS Memo, the Survey Tool and a Frequently Asked Questions document.