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CMS NEWS ALERT: May 15, 2020
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CMS NEWS ALERT: May 15, 2020 (COVID-19)

As part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts taken in response to coronavirus 
disease 2019 (COVID-19), following is a summary of recent Centers for Medicare & 
Medicaid Services (CMS) actions. To keep up with the important Task Force work being 
done in response to COVID-19, click here www.coronavirus.gov. For information specific 
to CMS, please visit the CMS News Room and Current Emergencies Website.  CMS 
updates these resources on an ongoing basis throughout the day; the information 
below is current as of May 15, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Deadline Approaching: Notification Requirements of Confirmed and 
Suspected COVID-19 Cases Among Nursing Home Residents and Staff

On April 19, CMS announced the agency will be requiring facilities to report COVID-19 
information to the CDC and to families. Within three weeks of that announcement, 
on April 30, CMS issued an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period with new 
regulatory requirements. With the new regulatory requirements, nursing homes are 
required to report the first week of data to the CDC beginning May 8 but no later 
than May 17. For the first time, all 15,000 nursing homes will be reporting this data 
directly to the CDC through its reporting tool.

In order to report, facilities must enroll in the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety 
Network (NHSN). Information on how to enroll is available here. As nursing homes 
report this data to the CDC, CMS will be taking swift action and publicly posting this
information so all Americans have access to accurate and timely information on 
COVID-19 in nursing homes. More information on the CDC’s NHSN COVID-19 module 
can be found here.
 
CMS Releases Nursing Home Toolkit with Best Practices and Additional Resources
CMS released a new toolkit developed to aid nursing homes, Governors, states, 

departments of health, and other agencies who provide oversight and assistance 
to these facilities.  These additional resources will help in the fight against the 
COVID-19 pandemic within nursing homes. The toolkit builds on previous actions 
taken by CMS, which provide a wide range of tools and guidance to states, 
healthcare providers and others during the public health emergency. The toolkit 
is comprised of best practices from a variety of front line health care providers, 
Governors’ COVID-19 task forces, associations and other organizations, and experts, 
and is intended to serve as a catalogue of resources dedicated to addressing the 
specific challenges facing nursing homes as they combat COVID-19.

Press Release
Toolkit
 
Trump Administration Announces Call for Nominations for Nursing Home Commission
CMS announced a call for nominations for the new contractor-led Coronavirus Commission 

on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes. The commission’s work will build on the 
Trump Administration’s long history of decisive actions to protect nursing home residents. 
The commission will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the overall response to the 
COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes and will inform immediate and future actions to 
safeguard the health and quality of life for an especially vulnerable population of Americans.

Press Release
Nursing Home Commission Nominations
 
CMS Outlines Medicaid Managed Care Options in Responding to COVID-19
CMS released a new Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Informational Bulletin (CIB) 

that provides states guidance on how to temporarily modify their Medicaid managed care 
contracts to address the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The guidance 
provides several options that states can consider to adjust provider payment methodologies 
and capitation rates within Medicaid managed care contracts while preserving systems 
of care and access to services for Medicaid beneficiaries.

Informational Bulletin
 
CMS Gives States Additional Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic
CMS has approved over 190 requests for state relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 

including recent approvals for California, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, 
New Mexico, Ohio, and Rhode Island. These approvals help to ensure that states have 
the tools they need to combat COVID-19. This is done through a wide variety of waivers, 
amendments, and Medicaid state plan flexibilities, including support for programs that 
care for the elderly and people with disabilities. CMS also developed a toolkit to expedite 
the application and review of each request and has approved these requests in record time. 
These approved flexibilities support President Trump’s commitment to a COVID-19 response 
that is locally executed, state managed, and federally supported.

Section 1135 Waivers
Section 1115(a) Waivers 
1915© Waiver Appendix K Amendments
Medicaid State Plan Amendments
CHIP State Plan Amendments



A True Friend
Freely Advises,
Justly Assists Readily,
Adventures Boldly,
Takes all Patiently,
Defends Courageously
And
Continues a Friend Unchangeably.

William Penn

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