CMS Issues New Interim Final Rule (IFC): Requirements and Enforcement Process for Reporting of COVID-19 Data Elements for Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals
CMS issued a memo updating its COVID-19 reporting requirements for hospitals, hospital labs, and acute care facilities. The guidance also codifies new enforcement discretion related to these reporting requirements; in its September 2 interim final rule with comment period (IFC), HHS tied these reporting requirements (as specified by the HHS Secretary during the COVID-19 public health emergency) to conditions of Medicare participation for hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs). As part of this update, HHS published a Hospital Mandatory COVID-19 Reporting Enforcement Workflow, which outlines the steps HHS has taken and will take to implement its enforcement discretion.
The October 6 update made optional certain data elements that were previously required as part of hospitals and CAHs’ daily reporting. Additionally, the IFC adds new influenza-specific data elements that will be made optional for reporting beginning on October 19th, which CMS indicated in its FAQs will likely be transitioned to required reporting elements in the coming weeks. CMS further indicated in its FAQs that it will no longer send out one-time requests for data to aid in the distribution of remdesivir or any other treatments or supplies (remdesivir can now be purchased by hospitals from the manufacturer; HHS is no longer allocating supply).