CMS Issues Guidance on New COVID-19 Testing and Reporting Requirements
CMS issued guidance in a PowerPoint format for nursing homes, highlighting its recent actions relevant for nursing homes, including:
The Inception of its National COVID-19 Training for Frontline Nursing Home Staff and Management. As previously announced on August 25, CMS reiterated its provision of five training modules designed for frontline clinical staff as well as ten designed for nursing home management. Supplemental to the training, CMS is hosting weekly webinars every Thursday between 4:00 to 5:00 pm ET that are available via the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) homepage.
Testing & Reporting Requirements Introduced by CMS’s Third Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC). Previously issued on August 25, CMS reiterated key provisions for nursing homes included in its third IFC related to the COVID-19 public health emergency: (1) mandatory testing requirements for staff and residents in nursing homes; and (2) mandatory reporting requirements for hospitals and CLIA-certified labs. The guidance also outlines the ways in which nursing homes may report COVID-19 testing data to the CDC. CMS reiterated recent guidance on the use of antigen, point-of-care testing in nursing homes as a means to augment other testing efforts, especially in settings where testing capacity is limited or testing results are delayed. The guidance further indicated that CMS is assessing available methods to gather data for determining compliance with the laboratory reporting mandate. Failure to report SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative results will result in civil money penalties of $1,000 for the first day of noncompliance and $500 for each additional day of noncompliance.