To: Mass Senior Care Members
From: Tara M. Gregorio, President
RE: COVID-19 Updates: CMS COVID-19 Focused Surveys; CMS Issues COVID-19 Public Reporting Tip Sheet
Date: September 11, 2020
CMS COVID-19 Focused Survey for Nursing Homes – Testing Requirements
Mass Senior Care would like to remind members that the CMS COVID-19 Focused Surveys now include requirements for F886 Testing of Nursing Home Staff and Residents, DPH surveyors will be surveying for evidence of:
- The facility is conducting testing of staff based on the county level positivity rate according to the recommended frequency which is currently all staff once a month and all residents should any staff member test positive. The facility should have documentation that includes tracking of county level data to support current testing frequency.
- The facility is conducting testing and specimen collection in a manner that is consistent with current standards of practice for conducting COVID-19 tests.
- The facility’s documentation demonstrates the facility has conducted testing of residents or staff with signs of symptoms of COVID-19 in a manner that is consistent with current standards of practice for conducting COVID-19 tests.
- The facility’s documentation demonstrates the facility has conducted testing of residents and staff based on the identification of an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 in the facility in a manner that is consistent with current standards of practice for conducting COVID-19 tests. The facility’s surveillance policy should be updated to reflect the current CMS guidance and the infection control line listing must be up to date and include both resident and staff.
- The facility has taken actions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 upon the identification of an individual with symptoms consistent with or who tests positive for COVID-19.
- The facility has procedures for addressing residents and staff that refuse testing or are unable to be tested, how the facility’s policy on mandatory testing is communicated to staff and how the facility is tracking and documenting staff testing compliance.
- If there is an issue related to testing supplies or processing tests, the facility contacted the state and local health departments for assistance.
CMS Issues COVID-19 Public Reporting Tip Sheet
On September 8, the Centers of Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the posting of a COVID-19 Public Reporting Tip Sheet. The purpose of the tip sheet is to help providers understand the CMS public reporting strategy for the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP) to account for CMS quality data submissions that were optional and excepted from public reporting due to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). The impact on CMS’ Nursing Home Compare website refreshes is also outlined. This tip sheet serves as a companion document to the SNF COVID-19 PHE Tip Sheet published in July 2020, which provided practical guidance to address SNF quality data submissions after July 1, 2020, once the temporary SNF QRP exceptions from the COVID-19 PHE ended. SNF staff responsible for SNF QRP reporting are encouraged to review this tip sheet.