CMS has new guidance requiring nursing homes to report COVID-19 related data to the CDC/NHSN database weekly which is in addition to any state and local reporting currently being done. This requirement is effective May 17, 2020 with public reporting of facility numbers of COVID cases, both resident and staff. Effective May 8, 2020, additional reporting requires that with any new case of COVID-19 or when 3 or more staff or residents are symptomatic within a 72-hour period, residents, representatives, and families are notified by 5:00 pm the following day. This is in addition to the requirement of notifying representatives/families of a resident’s change of condition. The notification process must be done in a way that protects the privacy of our staff and residents (HIPAA).
This toolkit provides several sample documents for consideration. There are two “initial” letter samples that may be used to notify residents, families and staff of the new CMS requirements. The third sample letter is considered an “update letter” and may be used to either post the required data on a website or be sent via email or USPS, depending on individual situations.