Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Revised Notification Guidelines

AHCA/NCAL has updated the COVID-19 Reporting and Notification Guidelines for Nursing Homes, according to the new regulations for notifying residents, representatives and families of COVID cases that went into effect on May 8, 2020. These guidelines supplement the information in this detailed summary AHCA previously provided  and provide further clarification from CMS on how providers should report cumulative COVID cases and clusters of three or more residents/staff with new onset respiratory symptoms within 72 hours.  

According to CMS, you must report the total number of confirmed cases (residents/patients and staff) that have occurred in the building since May 8, 2020 (the effective date of the new reporting requirements) at the time of the notification. This number will only increase each time a new case is confirmed. 

CMS also clarified that after the initial report of a cluster of three or more residents/staff with new onset respiratory symptoms within 72 hours of each other, you must continue to report the cluster at least weekly or whenever a subsequent occurrence of a positive case or new cluster prompts a new required report by 5 p.m. the next day, until one or more individuals in the cluster is ruled out through a negative COVID test. If one or more individuals in the cluster tests negative, there is no longer a cluster of 3 or more and you are no longer required to report it. You do not need to report whenever an individual who was in a cluster is ruled out. However, if a new cluster forms within a subsequent 72-hour period, you would report that by 5 p.m. the next day and follow the same process outlined in the guidelines. If one or more of the individuals in the cluster tests positive, report this as an increase in cumulative COVID cases in the building (prompting a report by 5 p.m. the next day).   

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