Wednesday, May 6, 2020

COVID-19 Reporting to NHSN: What do you need to know?

On April 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) COVID-19 reporting module for long term care facilities. Currently enrolled facilities will see the new module when they log in. Centers who were not previously enrolled in NHSN will be required to go through an expedited enrollment process.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule, effective May 1, which establishes explicit reporting requirements for long-term care (LTC) facilities to report information related to COVID-19 cases among facility residents and staff to the NHSN COVID-19 module. The first reporting is to be submitted by May 8. AHCA is advocating that there be a grace period for enforcement of this rule given the technical complexities and quantity of information that must be submitted to CDC for NHSN COVID-19 reporting. 

NHSN COVID-19 reporting is not required but optional for assisted living communities. Assisted living communities should follow specific state reporting requirements.

AHCA has been in touch with CMS directly on behalf of our ICF/IID providers and whether this is optional for them. On the NHSN site, there is a category for LTC/DD, but the CMS rule itself does not list ICF/IID as a provider type.

The CDC recommends daily reporting to NHSN. This will provide the timeliest data which will be informative and provide situational awareness at both state and national levels. The CDC recognizes that this may not be possible and requests that at a minimum the center should enter data at least once a week and at the same time.

Providers are running into delays while trying to complete the NHSN registration process. The CDC has reported a backlog of providers needing assistance with registering for NHSN. In some instances, the CDC reports that it may take 5-7 days to receive a response due to the sheer numbers of facilities trying to register for NHSN. 

While waiting for the registration process to complete, you should download now the four data collection pathway forms and accompanying instructions to start collecting the data that you will be uploading to NHSN once registration process is complete. It is extremely important to download, and refer to, the instructions page for each of the four data collection pathways. Refer to the definitions of each term prior to completing the data collection form.

The four data collection pathway forms are:

CDC is offering several live Q&A sessions for nursing homes between May 6-14. Details can be found on the CDC NHSN website. Scroll down to the training section. 

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