CMS Rule Requires Nursing Home Staff to be Tested for COVID-19

August 26, 2020

WASHINGTON -- An interim final rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that requires all Medicare-certified nursing homes test their staff for COVID-19 is drawing mixed reviews from the homes.

"The pandemic has already cost nursing homes tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars, as dedicated workers have been shouting for help from the front line," Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, an association of nonprofit nursing homes, said in a statement. "Nursing homes will put the resources CMS announced today to good use. But the fight against this virus is far from over, and our members need continued support."

She added that "the antigen testing machines HHS [the Department of Health and Human Services] is delivering to nursing homes will help, but members who already have the machines report that they are still waiting for instructions and test kits to make them usable."