May 15, 2020
Nursing Home Reporting Requirement
On April 19, 2020, CMS announced we’ll be requiring facilities to report COVID-19 information to the CDC and to families. Within three weeks of that announcement, we published an Interim Final Rule With Comment on April 30, 2020. For the first time, all 15,000 nursing homes will be reporting this data directly to the CDC through its reporting tool. With the new regulatory requirements, nursing homes are required to report the first week of data to the CDC beginning May 8, 2020 but no later than May 17, 2020. Additionally, in order to report, facilities must enroll in the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Information on how to enroll is available here. As nursing homes report this data to the CDC, we will be taking swift action and publicly posting this information so all Americans have access to accurate and timely information on COVID-19 in nursing homes. More information on the COVID-19 NHSN module can be found here.
CMS has a longstanding requirement for nursing homes to report cases of communicable diseases, such as COVID-19, to the appropriate state or local health department. This new requirement not only helps health departments intervene when needed, but serves to provide awareness to the public (e.g., families), and surveillance for public health agencies and the CDC. The importance of ongoing transparency and information sharing has proven to be one of the keys to the battle against this pandemic. Building upon the successes of this Administration prior to COVID-19, CMS has strongly supported transparency, such as the work done over the past several years to improve public access and understanding of nursing home inspection reports and expand the information available to consumers on Nursing Home Compare. The agency remains committed to greater transparency, and plans to publicly release the new data by the end of May. CMS will never stop working to give patients, residents, and families the clearest and most accurate information possible.