Nursing Homes May Qualify for Performance-Based Provider Relief Funds

As we reported last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it was developing “performance indicators” for distribution of an additional $2 billion to nursing homes this fall.  On September 3, 2020, HHS published the metrics for evaluating performance for these performance-based incentive payments.  Qualified nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities that report data through the National Healthcare Safety Network long-term care facility (LTCF) COVID-19 module will be measured against a baseline level of infection in the community where the facility is located.  Against this baseline, facilities will have performance measured on: (1) ability to keep new COVID infection rates low among residents; and (2) ability to keep COVID mortality low among residents. There will be four individual performance periods (September, October, November, and December) each with $500 million available.  Nursing homes will not have to apply to receive a share of this $2 billion incentive payment allocation, but will need to agree to the applicable Terms and Conditions.

HHS Announces Additional CARES Act Funds for Nursing Homes

On August 7, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that nursing homes and long-term care facilities will receive an additional $5 billion in payments from the Provider Relief Fund. $2.5 billion will support increased testing, staffing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needs, and establishment of COVID-19 isolation facilities. The remaining $2.5 billion will be linked to nursing home performance, which will consider the prevalence of COVID-19 in the nursing home’s local geography and the facility’s ability within this framework to control COVID-19 spread and related fatalities among its residents.

CMS Requires Nursing Homes to Provide Data on COVID-19 Deaths

April 24, 2020

On April 19, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will be developing new requirements for nursing homes to inform residents and their families of confirmed COVID-19 cases in their facilities. Nursing homes will also be required to report COVID-19 cases directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rulemaking hasn’t been published yet, but additional guidance on reporting requirements can be found here.