Skilled Nursing Facility

HHS expands coverage for point-of-care COVID-19 testing at SNFs

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced August 31 the expanded use of rapid point-of-care antigen tests at SNFs under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act).

Previously, some states banned the use of rapid point-of-care antigen tests at SNFs, but the new guidance from HHS overrules state bans.

“This PREP Act coverage preempts any State or local provision of law or legal requirement that prohibits or effectively prohibits such licensed health-care practitioners from administering or prescribing FDA-authorized COVID-19 tests to symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals at congregate facilities,” states the HHS guidance.

HHS will send test devices and an initial round of tests to every SNF in the U.S.