June 4, 2020
Nursing facilities have undoubtedly encountered unique challenges during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. In an effort to protect the vulnerable population receiving care in these facilities, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance on June 1, 2020 announcing the following COVID-19 survey activity that all states will be required to perform:
Nursing facilities should also be aware of enhanced enforcement actions for any infection control deficiencies identified in such surveys in an effort to improve accountability and sustained compliance with these critical protocols. Substantial non-compliance with any deficiencies noted will be subject to directed plans of correction, discretionary denials of payments for new admissions with a window of opportunity to demonstrate compliance, and/or per-instance civil monetary penalties. Assistance from Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) will be made available accordingly for purposes of offering education, training, and technical assistance to nursing facilities with a targeted need.
Finally, nursing facilities in Indiana should be aware that the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) was tasked with contacting all facilities on June 3, 2020 informing them of instructions for testing all nursing facility staff in the month of June. Facilities will not be required to pay for the staff testing and will have the opportunity to select one of the following testing scenarios: