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Coronavirus COVID-19 CMS Resources 

CMS is providing updates and resources regarding action being taken to address the spread of the Coronavirus. Below are links to those resources and updates that are being provided daily. Please confirm that you are operating under the most recent guidance from all regulatory and healthcare organizations that govern and support the long-term care industry. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact the KACE office. 

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Long-Term Care Facility Transfer Scenarios

(Dated April 13, 2020)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Begins Distributing Covid-19 Relief Funds to Healthcare Providers.

(Dated April 10)

Who is eligible for this first distribution? All facilities and providers that received Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2019 are eligible for this initial rapid distribution. You may have received funds via direct deposit beginning today. Read more about this first wave of funding here.

CMS Stakeholder Calls Recordings and Transcripts  

CMS COVID-19 Updates: Video on telehealth; additional Medicaid waivers; and Ambulatory Surgical Center guidance.

(Dated April 3, 2020)

CMS released a video providing answers to common questions about the Medicare telehealth services benefit. CMS is expanding this benefit on a temporary and emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.


Administration Issues Key Recommendations to Nursing Homes  

(Dated April 2, 2020)

Covid-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers
Long-Term Care Begins on Page 9

Kansas Receives Approval on 1135 Waiver Requests 

  • Temporarily suspend Medicaid fee-for-service prior authorization requirements.  Section 1135(b)(1)(C) allows for a waiver or modification of pre-approval requirements, including prior authorization processes required under the State Plan for particular benefits.
  • Extend pre-existing authorizations for which a beneficiary has previously received prior authorization through the end of the public health emergency.
  • Suspend Pre-Admission Screening and Annual Resident Review (PASRR) Level I and Level II Assessments for 30 days.
  • Provider Enrollment 
  • State Fair Hearing Requests and Appeal Timelines

Infection Control Self Assessment Tool

(Dated March 23, 2020)

Long-Term Care Nursing Homes Telehealth and Telemedicine Tool Kit

(Dated March 29, 2020)

Administration Engages Hospitals in Data Sharing

(Dated March 29, 2020) 

Financial Relief for Medicare Providers 

(Dated March 28, 2020)

Kirkland Washington Inspection Results Create New Focus for Surveys 

(Dated March 23, 2020)

Federal Inspection Survey Focus Document 

(Dated March 23, 2020)

Prioritization of Survey Activities Ref: QSO-20-20-All

(Dated March 23, 2020)

CMS Provides Relief for Medicare Quality Reporting Programs

(Dated March 22, 2020)

CMS Creates Virtual Toolkit for CMS and HHS Coronavirus Materials 

(Dated March 17, 2020)

CMS Waives 3 Day Stay Requirement 

(Dated March 17, 2020)

The waiver comes as part of the national state of emergency issued by the Trump administration to combat and spread the Coronavirus. CMS will now provide coverage of skilled nursing facility services without a qualifying hospital stay. 

CMS Announces New Measures to Protect Nursing Home Residents from COVID-19

Revised Ref: QSO-20-14-NH Dated March 13, 2020

(Dated March 13, 2020)

The new measures CMS announced today, which supersede prior CMS guidance, constitute the agency’s most aggressive and decisive recommendations with respect to nursing home safety in the face of the spread of COVID-19. They include:

  • Restricting all visitors, effective immediately, with exceptions for compassionate care, such as end-of-life situations;
  • Restricting all volunteers and nonessential health care personnel and other personnel (i.e. barbers);
  • Cancelling all group activities and communal dining; and
  • Implementing active screening of residents and health care personnel for fever and respiratory symptoms. 

CMS Takes Actions to Address Coronavirus 

(Dated March 13, 2020)

COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Healthcare Providers Fact Sheet

(Dated March 13, 2020)

Previous Guidance

You will find more information regarding CMS actions here, and below are the main points summarized as of March 4, 2020.

CMS is suspending non-emergency inspections across the country, allowing inspectors to turn their focus on the most serious health and safety threats like infectious diseases and abuse.


Effective immediately, survey activity is limited to the following (in Priority Order):

  • All immediate jeopardy complaints (cases that represents a situation in which entity noncompliance has placed the health and safety of recipients in its care at risk for serious injury, serious harm, serious impairment or death or harm) and allegations of abuse and neglect;
  • Find more information on survey activity you can review QSO-20-12 (dated March 4, 2020) here
  • Complaints alleging infection control concerns, including facilities with potential COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses;
  • Find more information on infection control practices, including monitoring and restricting visitors, for nursing homes you can review QSO-20-14-NH (revised on March 13, 2020) here. 
  • Statutorily required re-certification surveys (Nursing Home, Home Health, Hospice, and ICF/IID facilities);
  • Any re-visits necessary to resolve current enforcement actions;
  • Initial certifications;
  • Surveys of facilities/hospitals that have a history of infection control deficiencies at the immediate jeopardy level in the last three years;
  • Surveys of facilities/hospitals/dialysis centers that have a history of infection control deficiencies at lower levels than immediate jeopardy. 

CMS Resources:

Long term care facility – Infection control self-assessment worksheet


Infection control toolkit for bedside licensed nurses and nurse aides (“Head to Toe Infection Prevention (H2T) Toolkit”)

Infection Control and Prevention regulations and guidance: 42 CFR 483.80, Appendix PP of the State Operations Manual. See F-tag 880

Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention Concerning Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Home Health Agencies (HHAs) (QSO-20-18-HHA Dated March 10, 2020)

Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention Concerning Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Home Health Agencies (HHAs) QSO-20-18-HHA Dated March 10, 2020)

Guidance for use of Certain Industrial Industrial Respirators by Health Care Personnel Ref: (QSO-20-17-ALL Dated March 10, 2020)

CMS posted a fact sheet with information relating to the pricing of both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and non-CDC tests dated March 12, 2020.

CMS Frequently Asked Questions on Essential Health Benefit Coverage here. 

CMS Frequently Asked Questions on Catastrophic Plan Coverage here. 

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