The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted an interim final rule (IFR) related to COVID-19 surveillance with new reporting and testing requirements for nursing homes and other providers, including hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs). The new rules make reporting a requirement of participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs for both hospitals and CAHs. The IFR states: “Should a hospital or CAH fail to consistently report test results throughout the duration of the PHE for COVID-19, it will be non-compliant with the hospital and the CAH CoPs” (Conditions of Participation) “set forth at §§ 482.42(e) and 485.640(d), respectively, and subject to termination as defined at 42 CFR 489.53(a)(3).“
Hospitals and CAHs
Hospitals and CAHs will be required to report data daily, including but not limited to elements such as the number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 positive patients, intensive care unit beds occupied, and availability of essential supplies and equipment such as ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE).
In March, Vice President Pence sent a letter to all hospitals requesting that they provide the results of COVID-19 tests performed in their in-house laboratories to help better understand and track disease patterns. CMS’ new rules require such reporting of test results in order to ensure a more complete picture in the nationwide surveillance of COVID-19, as well as a more efficient allocation of PPE and other vital supplies.
Please see the links below to a brief fact sheet about the IFR and the full IFR, that pertain not only to hospitals and CAHs, but also to labs, nursing homes, and physician and pharmacist orders for COVID-19 testing.
- CMS Fact Sheet: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/trump-administration-strengthens-covid-19-surveillance-new-reporting-and-testing-requirements
- Interim Final Rule: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-ifc-3-8-25-20.pdf Pages B-B 22-26 are specific to hospital and CAH reporting.
This is an interim final rule with a comment period. Comments must be submitted electronically or by mail as outlined on page A3 of the IFR “60 days after publication in the federal register.”