CMS issues 2 new QSO Memos on Inspection & COVID-19 Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a QSO Memo on June 4, 2020, “Posting of Nursing Home Inspections,” that provides information on the health inspection data that CMS made publicly available today. The survey information that was published is not being calculated into nursing homes’ health inspection star ratings, as was the case with last month’s data, due to the limited focus of survey activities since March. Here’s what CMS made available to the public:

  • A new file with each CMS region’s survey results in full text. After a brief glance, despite the file being called “Nursing Home Infection Control Surveys,” many of the 2567s do not include any Infection Control deficiencies in them, nor do they appear to be the result of Focused Infection Control Surveys. The research team at CMSCG is working through this data and will have some analysis shortly. Per the QSO Memo, CMS noted that all surveys conducted on or after March 4, 2020 are available for download via the Nursing Home Compare webpage. One Spotlight announcement on NHC directs consumers to view these surveys.

This information is set to be updated monthly. View the CMS QSO Memo (Ref: QSO-20-33-NH) for full details.

In another QSO Memo dated June 4, 2020, “Release of COVID-19 Nursing Home Data,” CMS announced that it had published the COVID-19 reporting data from the CDC’s National Health Safety Network (NHSN) Long-Term Care Facility Module. Nursing homes are expected to report at least once every seven days or will face an enforcement action. CMS also noted in the QSO Memo that just because a facility has COVID-19 in the building does not mean that the facility is not in compliance with infection control requirements.

  • A second Spotlight announcement on the Nursing Home Compare website provides information on the COVID-19 mandatory reporting that nursing homes have been submitting to the CDC NHSN. This information includes a spreadsheet of all the data elements that are reported on, and will be updated weekly via this new CMS COVID-19 Nursing Home Data webpage.

The COVID-19 webpage notes (and from what we initially found when we peeked through this data) is that there are facilities that are not reporting data yet, so this information is subject to change. CMS also recommends that the first few weeks of data are not used for analysis since providers are still becoming familiar with the reporting. Read more about that on the Data Dictionary webpage.

View the COVID-19 data-related QSO Memo (Ref: QSO-20-32-NH) for full details.

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