Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announced on Sunday that long term care providers in the United States will be required to report cases of coronavirus in their facilities directly to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This announcement mirrors many aspects of previously issued guidance from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) to its members last weekend.
AHCA/NCAL applauded the decision and affirmed its commitment to providing this information to government health experts. “Long term care providers stand ready to share reports with CDC once we have final information on the details of the announcement,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL.
“It’s clear that CMS shares our goal of containing the spread of COVID-19 in long term care facilities. This announcement reinforces much of what long term care providers are already doing and are currently required to do in their states,” continued Parkinson. “AHCA/NCAL has issued guidance for long term care providers to report COVID cases to the state survey agency, if they are not already, so that CMS and other federal agencies have another way to gather national information. We felt it important to issue this guidance in order to make it clear that long term care facilities support transparency to our residents, families and other stakeholders because knowledge is pivotal during a pandemic and our public health officials need to know where to send urgently needed resources.”
This is the latest is a series of proactive steps long term care providers have taken to meet this historical challenge. The industry will continue to work with local, state and federal health officials to ensure all possible actions are taken to keep residents safe.
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 14,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the nearly 5 million seniors and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our facilities each year. For more information, please visit www.ahcancal.org or www.ncal.org.