To: Mass Senior Care Members
From: Tara M. Gregorio, President
Re: COVID-19 Update: CMS Announces New Reporting and Testing Requirements & Infection Control and Training Program for Nursing Homes
Date: August 26, 2020
CMS Announces New Reporting and Testing Requirements & Infection
Control and Training Program for Nursing Homes
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule on August 25, 2020 with comment period that revises regulations in several areas for long term care facilities and other providers. The interim final rule includes the following:
- Requirement for SNFs to Test Facility Residents and Staff for COVID-19.
- SNFs performing POC testing will be required to report on testing in the timeframes and using the format required by CMS.
- CMS modified previous guidance that allowed for COVID testing to take place without a physician’s order without limitation to the number of tests. Only one instance of each type of test can be conducted without a physician or other qualifying practitioner’s order. All subsequent tests will require a physician or qualified practitioner order.
AHCA has provided a high-level summary of these revisions.
In addition, CMS released new infection control training programs for both front-line and management staff. The CMS Targeted COVID-19 Training for Frontline Nursing Home Staff addresses some of the most common concerns recently found by surveyors and government “strike” teams concerning basic infection control and prevention practices. There are five training modules for front-line staff members. The CMS Targeted COVID-19 Training for Nursing Home Management, targets infection control and cleanliness but also larger institution-wide issues such as implementation of telehealth, emergency preparedness and vaccine delivery. There are 10 training modules for management. The CMS training programs are available to staff at Medicare-and Medicaid-certified nursing homes.