health IT
Credit: Getty Images

Skilled nursing providers will soon see significant changes to COVID-related data-reporting requirements, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced.

Data submitted to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network has allowed federal healthcare officials to track COVID’s effects and examine facility preparedness since early 2020. Providers are still required to report a wide range of information weekly, but the latest changes from CDC show just how far nursing homes have come in their fight against the virus. 

LeadingAge first reported on the expected changes in March, and Jodi Eyigor outlined some of the specifics on a policy call with members this Wednesday.

Among the updates, which may fall under staff or resident pathways, are:

  • Less required detail on the vaccination status of those who have a positive COVID result; instead of reporting receipt of initial vaccines and boosters, providers will only need to indicate “up-to-date.”
  • Removal of a data element related to positive flu results from both pathways.
  • Removal of staffing and PPE shortage data elements.
  • The end of a requirement to report deaths in the staff impact pathway, a change that indicates a major shift in the pandemic. Some 3,100 staff members died from COVID, according to NHSN data posted at
  • Removal of a therapeutics pathway that captured information about treatments used.
  • The addition of a new element capturing COVID hospitalizations of residents.

“Despite that one little addition, all in all, these are pretty good changes,” Eyigor said. “All of those things are going away, being streamlined. This should help for a much easier and quicker reporting process for you.”

The CDC will host a series of webinars on the changes to the COVID-19 Module Surveillance changes starting June 1. Dates and registration details are listed here; each session will repeat so providers need only attend one.

While CDC has not formally announced the start date for the changes, Eyigor predicted they could come into play with a new reporting period that begins June 26.

An interim final rule published during the pandemic requires weekly data reporting through December of 2024.