CMS Issues Interim Final Rule

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

Late in the afternoon of April 30, 2020, CMS issued the Interim Final Rule.  This is a must-read so sit down and get started!

“The policies in this IFC are applicable beginning on March 1, 2020, or January 27, 2020, except as further described in the following table.”   Here’s the CMS table found in the CMS-5531-IFC:

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I am working my way through this Interim Final Rule but I can provide this information from my review to this point (bolding added by me):

  1. The MDS 3.0 Item Set, v.1.18.1 that was scheduled for implementation on October 1, 2020 is now delayed because of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. SNFs/NFs will continue to use the current version (v1.17.1) for now.  This information is found on pages 162 through 164 of the Interim Final Rule.
  2. Nursing Homes will now be required to electronically report information related to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 at least weekly. This statement is found on page 212 of the Interim Final Rule however go back and review additional information about this on pages 178 through 182, pages 212 through 214 and page 235.  The reporting will be done via CDC’s NHSN (National Healthcare Safety Network).  To this point in time, such reporting has been voluntary but now it will be required at least weekly.  For more information on NHSN and such reporting, see my April 29, 2020 blog as well as NHSN LTCF COVID-19 Module.  You’ll be hearing more information from me on upcoming NHSN webinars for training so keep your eyes peeled for that blog.

    I will also point out guidance/regulation found on page 180 of the Interim Final Rule regarding notification of residents, resident representatives and families of those residing in facilities of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases – staff and residents.  “Facilities must inform residents, their representatives, and families by 5 p.m. the next calendar day following the occurrence of either: a single confirmed infection of COVID-19; or three or more residents or staff with new-onset of respiratory symptoms that occur within 72 hours of each other.  Also, cumulative updates to residents, their representatives, and families must be provided at least weekly by 5 p.m. the next calendar day following the subsequent occurrence of either: each time a confirmed infection of COVID-19 is identified; or whenever three or more residents or staff with new onset of respiratory symptoms occur within 72 hours of each other.”

CMS issued a Press Release yesterday announcing that describes additional actions being taken during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

I’ll blog more next week as I work my way through this Interim Final Rule.

Be safe and stay healthy out there!!  Thank you for all that you do each and every day!