CMS Releases Prioritization For Distribution of COVID Testing Units
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced it will begin providing nursing facilities with a Point of Care (POC) rapid response testing instrument to bolster each facility's ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The data collected through the NHSN system directly supports this initiative by helping to prioritize those nursing homes with testing needs and an increasing number of cases.
The initial disbursement of units is expected to be allocated to facilities in identified high risk areas, such as California, Texas, Florida, and other states in the south. At this time, there are no Michigan facilities slated to receive testing units in the first round of distribution.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has identified prioritization criteria as follows:
Nursing facilities located in hotspots, or
Nursing homes nationwide that have reported any of the following:
- Three or more confirmed or suspected new cases of COVID-19 in the last week
- At least one new COVID-19 case in the last week after having zero previous COVID-19 cases
- Inadequate access to testing in the last week
- At least one new resident death due to COVID-19 in the last week
- At least one new confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case among staff in the last week
Note: Nursing facilities must have a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) Certificate of Waiver to receive a testing device.
CMS provided a list of frequently asked questions to assist providers. As additional information regarding disbursements is available, HCAM will share with members.
For questions or concerns please contact Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
July 25, 2020