On April 19, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced upcoming regulatory requirements to reinforce the requirement that nursing facilities must report confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases to state and local health departments. In the rulemaking to follow, CMS also will require the facilities to report COVID-19 cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a standardized format.
In addition, CMS will also be previewing a new requirement for nursing facilities to notify residents and their representatives of COVID-19 cases. CMS indicated that at a minimum, nursing facilities will have to inform residents and their representatives within 12 hours of the occurrence of:
- a confirmed COVID-19 case, or
- three or more residents or staff with new onset of respiratory symptoms that occur within 72 hours.
Facilities will also need to provide weekly updates and will need to report this information in accordance with existing privacy regulations and statutes.
According to CMS, the failure to provide these notifications could result in an enforcement action.
This upcoming regulation will apply only to nursing facilities. Other residential care facilities, such as assisted living communities and intermediate care facilities, should continue to refer to state, local, and industry guidelines on any requirements for notifications.
If you have questions about this development please reach out to us. For other COVID-19 matters, please visit our COVID-19 Resource Page.
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