After Senators’ Repeated Calls for Transparency, CMS to Announce Intent to Require Nursing Homes to Share the Scope of the Spread of COVID-19
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, secured a commitment by the Trump Administration to publicly release the names of nursing homes across the country that have cases of COVID-19. This decision follows a letter sent earlier this month from the Senators urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to release this critical information to nursing home residents, their families, health care professionals, first responders and the public.
“We are pleased that the Trump Administration heeded our calls to increase transparency of nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we want them to put these requirements in place as quickly as possible. Once in place, this critical step will ensure that families have necessary information about their loved ones amid this public health crisis and help direct resources to facilities being ravaged by outbreaks,” said the Senators. “However, the Administration must do more to help state and local communities to limit the spread of the virus. That includes making this information public quickly and updating it in real time, increasing testing capacity, getting front-line workers the protective equipment they need and providing premium pay to the heroic workers on the front-lines.”
In their letter, dated April 2, the Senators also requested a briefing on how CMS intends to spend $100 million provided to the agency to limit the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes as part of the recently passed CARES Act. One of the first known outbreaks of COVID-19 occurred in a Washington state nursing home, Life Care Center, leading to more than 35 deaths due to the coronavirus.
Read the letter here.