LeadingAge Statement on CMS’ Regulatory Requirements announced Apr. 19, 2020

PRESS RELEASE | April 20, 2020 | by Lisa Sanders

Association of Nonprofit Providers Supports Reporting, Voices Concerns

Contact: Lisa Sanders
 lsanders@leadingage.org 202-508-9407

April 20, 2020 Washington, DC -- Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes:
“LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes, as a dedicated partner in the public health system, has clearly supported the need for nursing homes to report diagnosed COVID-19 cases in facilities. We continue to support requirements calling for nursing homes to report diagnosed cases of residents to health departments and to families, with the expectation of prioritization for personal protective equipment and tests as our members battle this pandemic,” said Smith Sloan. “We are concerned with the specifics of the new reporting requirements, announced on Apr. 19 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Details:

  1. Duplicative reporting -- per the Apr. 19 QSO memo, new requirements state that skilled nursing providers must report the same information (diagnosed and suspected cases of residents and staff) to both state and local health departments as well as to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Requiring nursing homes to report and follow up on fast-changing details to separate entities at a time when providers face staffing challenges and lack of testing adds a new layer of burden.
  2. Enforcement for reporting -- the financial impact of coronavirus on skilled nursing providers has been and continues to be considerable. The possibility of monetary penalty for failure to report as required at a time when skilled nursing facilities are strapped financially and facing staffing challenges due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is unduly burdensome.
  3. Lack of testing supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) -- We reiterate our previous statements that without sufficient PPE and testing supplies our members are not fairly armed to fight the novel coronavirus, and are not able to protect staff and residents. The need for PPE and tests is more urgent than ever. Our members’ staff is on the front lines of this health crisis. They must be prioritized for personal protective equipment and testing supplies -- particularly as nursing homes nationwide are partners to hospitals in caring for COVID-19 discharges”.

Press release: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/trump-administration-announces-new-nursing-homes-covid-19-transparency-effort
Requirement QSO memo: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-26-nh.pdf

About LeadingAge:

We represent more than 5,000 aging-focused organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we address critical issues by blending applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building. We bring together the most inventive minds in our field to support older adults as they age wherever they call home. We make America a better place to grow old. For more information: www.leadingage.org