The federal government is still weeks away from publicly reporting nationwide COVID-19 nursing home data, according to an NBC News report.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services still hasn’t tallied the total number of nursing homes with coronavirus outbreaks even after announcing, in April, an effort to track and publicly report the data, the report noted.
“As nursing homes report this data to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], we 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. This reporting requirement is the first action of its kind in the agency’s history,” CMS said in a statement to the news outlet.
“The agency remains committed to greater transparency, and will never stop working to give patients, residents, and families the clearest and most accurate information possible,” the agency added.
The new federal mandate requires nursing homes to report COVID-19-related infections directly to the CDC. Additional details about the rule were published last week by CMS.
Providers must report its suspected and confirmed COVID-19 infections among residents and staff, including previously treated cases; total deaths; personal protective equipment and hand hygiene supplies in the facility; ventilator capacity and supplies; resident beds and census; access to testing; and staffing shortages.
In other coronavirus-related news:
• LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan on Saturday slammed U.S. policymakers for their failure to prioritize personal protective equipment and testing for aging services providers following a New York Times report that revealed one-third of all coronavirus deaths are nursing home residents or workers.
“This has been a slow motion catastrophe that we know how to stop. We need leadership, commitment, and a focus on delivering PPE and testing to millions of vulnerable older Americans,” she said in a statement.
• In brighter news, several nursing homes across the country used creative ways — like parades — to celebrate Mother’s Day over the weekend. But the Nassau Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in New York used a sliding glass door that allowed residents to reunite with their family members to celebrate the holiday while still abiding by social distancing requirements.
The nursing home created a visitors’ tent that allows them to visit residents from behind a glass wall. Staff members said the method allows for safe human interaction and helped alleviate the emotional toll of social distancing requirements.