July 30, 2020

CMS Announces New Resources to Protect Nursing Home Residents Against COVID-19

On July 22, CMS announced several new initiatives designed to protect nursing home residents from the COVID-19 virus. These new initiatives include new funding, enhanced testing, additional technical assistance and support, and weekly data on high risk nursing homes. The White House and CMS will include a list of nursing homes that have experienced an increase in cases in their weekly report to Governors to allow states to identify and target their support to nursing homes with the greatest need. Also, CMS will now require that all nursing homes in states with a positivity rate of 5% or greater test all nursing home staff each week. More than 15,000 testing devices will be deployed over the next few months to help support this mandate aimed at identifying asymptomatic carriers.

Additionally, HHS will devote $5 billion of the Provider Relief Fund authorized by the CARES Act to Medicare-certified nursing homes to address their critical needs, including enhanced infection control. To receive this funding, nursing homes must participate in the Nursing Home COVID-19 Training. The Nursing Home COVID-19 Training is an online training created by CMS, in partnership with the CDC, that will be available to all nursing homes nationwide.

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