CMS Releases Infection Control and COVID-19 Data

Regulation | June 09, 2020 | by Jodi Eyigor

CMS has released the initial rounds of nursing home infection control survey and COVID-19 reporting data.

On June 4, CMS released the first round of nursing home data on COVID-19. An interim final rule effective May 8 required nursing homes to report COVID-19 data directly to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) system. The data released by CMS this week reflects the first round of data, reported by nursing homes to satisfy deadlines on May 24 and May 31. Data is available at with a link to this site on the Nursing Home Compare website. The data will next be updated in 2 weeks (mid-June), then weekly thereafter.

CMS notes that the data released has limitations and accuracy will improve in time as more providers gain access to reporting, providers become more familiar with data elements, and any errors in early data are corrected. CMS cautions that early data should not be used for trend analysis or longitudinal analysis. To assist with data quality, CDC and the NHSN system will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, June 10. Registration for this webinar and recorded trainings and resources are available here.

Also on June 4, CMS released the first round of infection control survey results. These surveys were first introduced on March 4, then later prioritized on March 23. On June 1, CMS directed that state survey agencies should complete infection control surveys in 100% of the nursing homes in their states by July 31. These survey results are available in a zip file linked from Nursing Home Compare. They will not be calculated into the Five Star Quality Rating System at this time, and the Health Inspection domain remains frozen. The Quality Improvement Organizations are hosting weekly nursing home training sessions in an effort to support nursing homes around infection control. Providers can register for these trainings and access recordings of previous trainings at the QIO Program website.