CMS issued an interim final rule at the start of May, requiring operators to submit weekly information about COVID-19 infections and deaths to the agency and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The goal, according to CMS and the CDC, is to help officials track coronavirus hotspots while also providing full transparency to the public.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma recently confirmed that mandatory COVID-19 data will eventually appear on Nursing Home Compare, with the first public information expected to be released by the end of May. I would not hold your breath.
In addition to building-by-building information on the consumer-facing website, the COVID-19 data will also be presented in a separate trend analysis from CMS, the administrator indicated.
“Ultimately, it will go on Nursing Home Compare, so that people can look up the specific nursing home and have the report on what happened,” Verma said to reporters.
“Obviously, we want to make sure it’s scrubbed and it’s cleaned,” Verma said. “We have to get the data from CDC. We want to do our own analysis, as well, to sort of put out some broad parameters of what we’re seeing, so that that’s easy and digestible.”
A lack of specific public data around coronavirus infections and deaths in nursing homes has been a major source of frustration for lawmakers, resident advocates, and families.