CMS Updates COVID-19 Testing Methodology for Nursing Homes

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an update to the methodology used to determine the rate of COVID-19 positivity in counties across the United States. CMS states that the new methodology is intended to address state governor concerns over nursing home testing in rural areas, adding that the methodology “reduces burdens while still requiring [nursing] facilities to conduct testing at a frequency that can detect COVID-19 early to keep nursing home residents safe.” CMS guidance requires nursing homes to test staff for COVID-19 “at a frequency based on the positivity rate of their respective counties.”  

 As described by CMS, the new methodology provides that: (1) counties with 20 or fewer tests over 14 days will now move to “green” in the color-coded system of assessing COVID-19 community prevalence and (2) counties with both fewer than 500 tests and fewer than 2,000 tests per 100,000 residents, and greater than 10 percent positivity over 14 days – which would have been “red” under the previous methodology – will move to “yellow.” For more information: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-updates-covid-19-testing-methodology-nursing-homes 


Posted on

October 1, 2020