To date, CMS has released guidance to aid SNFs during the COVID-19 pandemic, including everything from PPE usage to infection control. The following is summary of actions taken thus far, as outlined by CMS, including links to each action:
February 6, 2020
CMS took action to prepare the nation’s healthcare facilities for the COVID-19 threat.
March 4, 2020
CMS issued new guidance related to the screening of entrants into nursing homes.
March 10, 2020
CMS issued guidance related to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
March 13, 2020
CMS issued guidance for a nationwide restriction on nonessential medical staff and all visitors.
March 20, 2020
CMS announced a suspension of routine inspections, and an exclusive focus on immediate jeopardy situations and infection control inspections.
March 30, 2020
CMS announced that hospitals, laboratories, and other entities can perform tests for COVID-19 on people at home and in other community-based settings outside of the hospital – including nursing homes.
April 2, 2020
CMS issued a call to action for nursing homes and state and local governments reinforcing infection control responsibilities and urging leaders to work closely with nursing homes on access to testing and PPE.
April 15, 2020
CMS announced the agency will nearly double payment for certain lab tests that use high-throughput technologies to rapidly diagnose large numbers of COVID-19 cases.
April 19, 2020
CMS announced it will require nursing homes to report cases of COVID-19 to all residents and their families, as well as directly to the CDC. On May 1, 2020, CMS proposed policy in an Interim Final Rule.
April 30, 2020
CMS announced the formation of a Commission that will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to COVID-19.
May 6, 2020
CMS released a memorandum to State Survey Agency directors with more details on the reporting requirement announced on April 19.
May 13, 2020
CMS published a new toolkit comprised of recommendations and best practices from a variety of front line health care providers, governors’ COVID-19 task forces, associations and other organizations and experts and is intended to serve as a catalogue of resources dedicated to addressing the specific challenges facing nursing homes as they combat COVID-19