As Federal Government Rolls Out Point-of-Care Units, Not All States Allow Nursing Homes to Use Them

The federal government is in the midst of an aggressive plan to send point-of-care coronavirus tests to all of the nation’s more than 15,400 nursing homes — but individual state rules may prevent facilities from taking advantage of the program. “Due to the lower sensitivity and specificity of these test devices, not all state public […]

Senators Want Demographic Data on Nursing Home COVID-19 Infections, Deaths

A group of U.S. senators asked top health officials to begin releasing detailed demographic data on coronavirus infections in nursing homes, pointing to mounting evidence that the disease disproportionately affects communities of color. The federal government has required the nation’s more than 15,000 nursing homes to report COVID-19 counts from May onward, but the public […]

CMS to Target Nursing Homes with Infection Control Problems in New COVID-19 Hotspots

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday announced a plan to support nursing homes in new “COVID-19 hotspot areas,” with a combined focus on technical support and targeted inspections for facilities with a history of infection control issues. The White House Coronavirus Task Force, led by Vice President Mike Pence and coordinator […]

CDC: Repeat Testing, Infection Control Support Helped Cut Nursing Home COVID Rate from 35% to 18%

A comprehensive testing and infection-control collaboration helped reduce the rate of new COVID-19 positives in nursing homes from 35% to 18%, a new analysis from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has determined. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Detroit Health Department proactively worked with academics, health care systems, local […]

CMS Orders Medicare Advantage Plans, MACs to Cover COVID-19 Tests Under New Nursing Home Guidance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday instructed Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to begin covering all COVID-19 tests required for nursing home residents under new testing guidelines. The move came after the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance around nursing home testing strategies last […]

Federal Count of COVID-19 Nursing Home Deaths Drops After First Update

The federal government on Thursday made the first routine update to its official nursing home COVID-19 data, and while the number of confirmed and suspected cases increased as expected, the most recent figures show a drop in deaths of more than 2,000. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that there were more […]

OIG Expands Probes into Nursing Homes’ Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

The federal government’s top health care watchdog agency added a pair of new probes into the nation’s nursing homes to its already busy slate of long-term care investigations for the coming year. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) last week rolled out two long-term care investigations — […]

CMS Issues New Guidelines for Resuming Non-Emergency Surgeries as COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

The federal government on Tuesday unveiled a new set of guidelines for the safe resumption of non-emergency health care services, including surgeries and other inpatient procedures. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the updated recommendations as many states have begun tentatively lifting the strict stay-at-home orders that had been in place since […]

CMS Posts COVID-19 Data, Survey Reports on Nursing Home Compare as Death Count Approaches 32,000

The federal government on Thursday afternoon updated its Nursing Home Compare database to include individual building-level data on COVID-19 outbreaks, following through on a transparency pledge months in the making. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) incorporated its previously released COVID-19 case and death counts into the consumer-facing tool, allowing family members and […]

CMS, CDC Again Ask States to Take Lead on Nursing Home COVID-19 Testing as Strategies Could Soon Shift

As part of the federal government’s push toward stricter infection control protocols in nursing homes, officials this week again called on states to take the lead on COVID-19 testing — while also acknowledging that blanket testing strategies may need to change as infection patterns continue to diverge. Each state must draw up its own testing […]

‘Talk to Your Governor’ Not Enough to Support Nursing Homes as Value of One-Time Testing Comes into Question

Senior housing and care leaders again called on the federal government to more aggressively bankroll COVID-19 testing in the nation’s nursing homes, arguing that the burden will be ongoing — especially since an already expensive one-time testing strategy may not be an instant cure-all. Given recommendations from the White House and Centers for Medicare & […]

Under Interim Final Rule, Mandatory COVID-19 Reporting for Nursing Homes to Begin This Week

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday released an interim final rule that, among other provisions, will require nursing homes to begin reporting detailed COVID-19 information to the federal government this week. While CMS and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) had previously announced the requirement — after weeks of […]

Senators Demand Public List of Nursing Homes with Positive COVID-19 Cases

A pair of U.S. senators this week demanded that federal officials release a public list of all the nursing homes that have reported positive COVID-19 cases, arguing that the information is vital to preventing the spread of the virus. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma pegged the number of facilities with […]

As Nursing Homes with Cases Reach 400, AHCA Advises Operators to Assume All Untested Patients Positive for COVID-19

One of the country’s major nursing home trade groups is advising its members to assume that unless a person has tested negative for COVID-19 prior to admission, that patient has the virus. This is regardless of whether or not they have symptoms, according to guidance from the American Health Care Association (AHCA) released on Monday. […]