Nursing homes required to report COVID-19 information directly to CDC, residents and their families

WASHINGTON D.C. — The Trump Administration now requires nursing homes to report COVID-19 cases directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and to residents and their families.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said nursing homes are an “accelerator for the virus.”

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Tens of thousands have been infected with COVID-19 at nursing homes around the country.

“Having nursing homes report directly to CDC will enhance those overall efforts around surveillance,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

Washington Bureau Reporter Samantha Manning questioned Verma about the new requirements.

“What do you say to the families of the residents and staff members who question why it took so long to require the nursing homes to report this information to the federal government and to the families and residents?” Manning asked.

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“There are longstanding regulations in place that require nursing homes to inform family members when there's a change in a patient's status,” Verma said.

“Even though the nursing industry themselves have recommended there was more information being given about COVID-19 and the nursing homes, that just wasn’t happening and so that’s why we took this extra step."

The new regulation said if a nursing home does not comply, an “enforcement action” could be taken.

“We would impose a fine on them,” Verma said. “It would be $1,000 a week if they miss reporting. The first time it will be $1,000 and then that will increase."

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Manning brought up if a facility will be shut down if they are repeating and aren’t complying.

"Well that could be part of it but we really look comprehensively at you know a lot of different factors before we take the step of shutting down the nursing home,” Verma said.