In an Interim Final Rule with Comment, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires nursing facilities to report certain information about coronavirus cases and deaths to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and to residents and families. In comments submitted July 7, the Center for Medicare Advocacy recommends (1) auditing data submitted by nursing facilities to CDC; (2) imposing per day civil money penalties when facilities report materially inaccurate information to the CDC and when facilities fail to report to residents, families, and staff; and (3) requiring ongoing reporting of infections beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
By its terms, the rule authorizes national reporting only during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since infections are the most frequently cited deficiency in nursing facilities, leading to hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and deaths, and current facility practices have not adequately addressed problems of infections, the Center believes that more attention to infections at the national level is critical.
- The Center’s comments are available at https://medicareadvocacy.org/center-comments-on-additional-policy-and-regulatory-revisions-in-response-to-covid-19/.
July 9, 2020 – T. Edelman
 CMS-5531-IFC, 85 Fed. Reg. 27550 (May 8, 2020), https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-05-08/pdf/2020-09608.pdf.
 CMS reported these statistics in final Requirements of Participation published in October 2016, 81 Fed. Reg. 68688, 68808 (Oct. 4, 2016), https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2016-10-04/pdf/2016-23503.pdf, and in proposed rules in July 2019, 84 Fed. Reg. 34737, 34746 (Jul. 18, 2019), https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-07-18/pdf/2019-14946.pdf.
 GAO, Infection Control Deficiencies Were Widespread and Persistent in Nursing Homes Prior to COVID-19 Pandemic, GAO-20-576R (May 20, 2020), https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/707069.pdf. See “GAO on Infection Control Deficiencies in Nursing Facilities Before COVID-19 Pandemic: “Widespread,” “Persistent,” “Ignored” (CMA Alert, May 21, 2020), https://medicareadvocacy.org/gao-widespread-snf-deficiencies/.