WASHINGTON (KNWA/KFTA) — Nursing homes face stricter regulatory requirements for testing staff and residents for COVID-19, and failure to comply could mean thousands of dollars in penalties.
On Tuesday, August 25, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced sweeping oversight changes for nursing homes — those that don’t comply could face penalties of more than $8,000 per violation. There are four areas where CMS changed nursing home oversight.
NEW TESTING REQUIREMENTS FOR NURSING HOMES:
In April, CMS requested governors to create nursing home testing pans, provide new payment for collection of lab samples in nursing homes and increase the payment for certain tests.
In May, CMS released re-opening recommendations which included baseline testing for all residents and routine staff testing.
“That recommendation for testing staff routinely is now a requirement for participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs under CMS’ authority through the Social Security Act to adequately protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents,” according to the CMS statement.
Residents will be offered tests by the nursing homes when there is an outbreak or residents show symptoms of COVID-19.
The cost of testing will be funded under the CARES Act. The total payout under the Provider Relief Funds is nearly $10 billion.
HOSPITALS MUST REPORT DATA:
Every day, hospitals and critical access hospitals must report daily data such as the number of confirmed/suspected COVID-19 positive patients, occupied ICU beds, and PPE availability. Many hospitals do this now, but not all. This requirement makes it necessary for Medicare/Medicaid program participation. If the rules are not followed, hospitals face losing Medicare/Medicaid payment if the reporting deficiencies are not fixed.
NEW REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR LABS:
Every day, laboratories are required to report COVID-19 test results to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This includes all labs that test in hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities. If, the lab fails to follow the requirement a $1,000 first day penalty will be assessed and $500 for additional days.
PHYSICIAN AND PHARMACIST ORDERS FOR TESTS:
Each beneficiary may be COVID-19 tested without a doctor’s order, or other health practitioner, additional tests must be Medicare approved. The goal is to stop fraudulent billing or unnecessary testing, on the other hand, beneficiaries can get the proper “medical attention if multiple tests are needed,” according to the statement.
- Northwest Arkansas absentee balloting process successful thus far, election coordinator says
- Former Razorback QB, Ryan Mallett, Helping Change the Mountain Home Football Program
- Father claims ADH took almost a month before contact tracing
- Stimulus check, $600-per-week jobless benefit included in new virus aid proposal
- COVID-19 deaths continue to increase