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April 21, 2020

Health Law Daily

CMS To Require Nursing Homes To Provide Data On COVID-19 Cases, Deaths

  • April 21, 2020

The Washington Post (4/20, Cenziper, Jacobs, Mulcahy) says almost “one in ten nursing homes in America has a publicly reported case of the coronavirus, a count that has soared in the past three days as several hard-hit states released the names of facilities after weeks of pressure from families, journalists and watchdog groups.” Data compiled by the Post indicate more than 1,300 nursing homes have reported a death linked to COVID-19. The total figure is in the thousands. On Sunday, CMS “announced new reporting requirements, mandating that nursing homes inform residents, their families and the federal government about cases of [COVID-19].” And on Monday, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said “the data, including deaths among residents and staff members, would be publicly released ‘in short order.’”
      The AP (4/20, Choi) reports that the “move comes as critics, industry officials and local leaders have called for more aggressive actions by the federal government to track infections in homes and contain outbreaks by helping them get greater access to testing and masks, especially given the vulnerability of elderly residents.” The AP’s own analysis has found “at least 8,426 deaths linked to coronavirus outbreaks in nursing homes and long-term care facilities nationwide.”
      Bloomberg Law (4/20, Pugh, Subscription Publication) reports that at a minimum, the new CMS rules require that “‘nursing homes must inform residents and their representatives within 12 hours of the occurrence of a single confirmed infection of COVID-19’ or within three days after a staff member or resident develops new Covid-like respiratory symptoms.”