CHA News

CMS Provides Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Testing for SNFs

For skilled-nursing facility leaders, infection preventionists

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued updated guidance associated with the Aug. 25, 2020, interim final rule with comment period, which established long-term care facility testing requirements for staff and residents.  

Specifically, facilities are required to test residents and staff, including individuals providing services under arrangement and volunteers, for COVID-19 based on parameters set forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary.  

Updates included address the frequency of testing and a provision that COVID-19 staff testing is based on the facility’s county level of community transmission instead of county test positivity rate. Additionally, facilities now have two options to conduct outbreak testing, through either a contact tracing or broad-based testing approach.