In a memorandum published Sunday, April 19, 2020, HHS indicated it will be implementing new requirements “very soon” that nursing homes report resident and staff COVID-19 cases and similar disease incidents to residents, their family representatives, and to the CDC.
Currently, nursing homes must notify State or Local health department about residents or staff with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, residents with severe respiratory infection resulting in hospitalization or death, or ≥ 3 residents or staff with new-onset respiratory symptoms within 72 hours of each other. However, before now, such data was not collected by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the CDC, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
HHS will move these requirements quickly through the rulemaking process.
In addition to outlining these new reporting requirements, the memorandum reminds nursing homes of the federal rules mandating immediate access to any residents by any representative of the Secretary of HHS or the state to allow for the performance of on-site infectious disease surveillance, testing of healthcare personnel and residents, or other related activities, as permitted under law.
The full CDC guidance to prepare nursing homes for COVID-19 can be found here: