| Covid-19 | Sep 1, 2020

CMS Issues Guidance on Long-Term Care (LTC) Facility Testing Requirements and Revised COVID-19 Focused Survey Tool

In coordination with its release of its third interim final rule with comments (IFC) related to the COVID-19 public health emergency, CMS issued guidance that builds upon the nursing home COVID-19 testing requirements established in the IFC. The guidance sets out facility requirements for testing resident and staff based on “testing triggers” such as a symptomatic individual being identified, an outbreak (i.e., any new case arises in the facility), or routine testing. The guidance requires that:• Staff and residents with signs/symptoms of COVID-19 are tested;• In the event of an outbreak, all staff and residents that previously tested negative should be retested every 3 to 7 days until there are no new cases for a period of at least 14 days; • Routine testing should be completed for staff, but not residents unless the resident “leaves the facility routinely.” Routine testing for staff should be conducted in accordance with parameters set forth related to the weekly positivity rate in the county in which the facility is located.The guidance also includes: other testing considerations; information about the steps facilities should take to address individuals who refuse testing; information about conducting, documenting, and reporting testing; an updated COVID-19 focused survey for nursing homes; and additional resources.