HHS Releases SNF Infection Control Terms and Conditions

COVID-19; CMS
​The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released nearly $2.5 billion of a planned $5 billion distribution to nursing homes to support increased testing, staffing, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Terms and Conditions. HHS noted the Terms and Conditions​ for this allocation would differ from other PRF Terms and Conditions.
 
The addition to the Infection Control Allocation Terms and Conditions is: “The Recipient certifies that the Payment will only be used to reimburse the Recipient for costs associated with the following items and services (“Infection Control Expenses”):

  • ​Costs associated with administering COVID-19 testing, which means an in vitro diagnostic test defined in section 809.3 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations) for the detection of SARS– CoV–2 or the diagnosis of the virus that causes COVID–19, and the administration of such a test, that:
    • ​Is approved, cleared, or authorized under section 510(k), 513, 515, or 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 360(k), 360c, 360e, 360bbb–3);
    • The developer has requested, or intends to request, emergency use authorization under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 360bbb–3), unless and until the emergency use authorization request under such section 564 has been denied or the developer of such test does not submit a request under such section within a reasonable timeframe;
    • Is developed in and authorized by a State that has notified the Secretary of Health and Human Services of its intention to review tests intended to diagnose COVID-19; or
    • Other test that the Secretary determines appropriate in guidance.​
  • Reporting COVID-19 test results to local, state, or federal governments.
  • Hiring staff, whether employees or independent contractors, to provide patient care or administrative support.
  • Expenses incurred to improve infection control, including activities such as implementing infection control “mentorship” programs with subject matter experts or changes made to physical facilities.
  • Providing additional services to residents, such as technology that permits residents to connect with their families if the families are not able to visit in person.”​
Of note, “hiring staff …" specifically relates to staff responsible for infection control activities, not general staff hiring.  Additionally, the Terms and Conditions language specifically notes these funds may be used for the purchase of technology to mitigate social isolation. 

The formula for this award is $10,000 per building plus the product of the number of beds multiplied by $1,450. HHS plans on distributing another $2 billion to nursing homes later this fall based on certain performance indicators that will be shared in the future.​