CMS Issues COVID-19 Guidance To Hospitals and Nursing Facilities
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in two letters to State Survey Agencies dated March 4, 2020, new guidance for infection control and prevention concerning coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in hospitals (including critical access hospitals) and in nursing homes. As part of its guidance, CMS encourages all hospitals and nursing homes to monitor the CDC website and to contact their local health departments when needed, or when they suspect a hospital patient, nursing home resident, or healthcare provider has COVID-19.
In addition, CMS provides guidance regarding which patients are at risk for severe disease with COVID-19; screening of hospital patients, and hospital and nursing home visitors who are at risk for COVID-19; monitoring and potential restrictions for facility staff; infection control practices; and considerations for admission, transfer, and discharge of hospital patients and nursing home residents with a suspected or confirmed infection with COVID-19. The guidance is effective immediately.