Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Federal regulations for nursing homes to prepare for coronavirus spread were implemented in February
Queens County Politics
President Donald Trump‘s administration has been warning states in a number of memorandums since as early as Feb. 6 to prepare the nation’s nursing homes for the COVID-19 threat, KCP has learned.
The documented proof of Trump administration and warnings and declarations was presented yesterday following the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announcement of new regulatory requirements that will require nursing homes to inform residents, their families and representatives of COVID-19 cases in their facilities.
In addition, as part of Trump’s Opening Up America, CMS will now require nursing homes to report cases of COVID-19 directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This information must be reported in accordance with existing privacy regulations and statute. This measure augments longstanding requirements for reporting infectious disease to State and local health departments. Finally, CMS will also require nursing homes to fully cooperate with CDC surveillance efforts around COVID-19 spread.
“Nursing homes have been ground zero for COVID-19. Today’s action supports CMS’ longstanding commitment to providing transparent and timely information to residents and their families,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Nursing home reporting to the CDC is a critical component of the go-forward national COVID-19 surveillance system and to efforts to reopen America.”
The CMS first memorandum issued on February 6, warned healthcare facilities to the threat of the 2019-Novel Coronavirus and advised health care providers and State Survey Agencies (SAs), the entities that inspect healthcare facilities, including nursing homes, to ensure compliance with current CMS requirements and safety standards.