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COVID-19 vaccine requirements: 4 facts SNFs need to know

On September 9, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that a new policy is in the works requiring all staff within several types of healthcare settings, including nursing homes, to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition for participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

With the Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC) for this regulation expected to be issued any day, here are four facts skilled nursing facilities need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine immunization coverage requirements already in place:

  1. Mandatory vaccine reporting: Long-term care facilities must report COVID-19 vaccines and treatments administered to residents and staff members on a weekly basis via the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
  2. Public reporting: CMS publishes facility-specific vaccination rates and other COVID-19 data on the COVID-19 Nursing Home Data website.
  3. Citation and penalties: Facilities that do not comply with weekly vaccination reporting will be cited at F-tag 884 and be liable for civil monetary penalties starting at $1,000 for the first occurrence, increasing by $500 for each subsequent week of noncompliance.
  4. SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP): Effective October 1, 2021 (FY 2022), monthly COVID-19 vaccination status among healthcare personnel is mandatory via the SNF QRP. Failure to report at least one week during a month will result in a 2% reduction in the Annual Payment Update.

How to keep up with COVID-19 vaccination requirements

Keeping up with weekly and monthly vaccination status reporting – in addition to everything else you have on your plate – can be overwhelming. Fortunately, Inovalon can help.

ABILITY INFECTIONWATCH® helps SNFs implement a proactive, data-driven approach to infection prevention and control with the following capabilities:

  • Regulatory-aligned reporting
  • Simplified vaccine program tracking and reporting
  • Visibility into HAIs and access to line listing reports

View our on-demand webinar to learn more about how this powerful platform can help your organization stay compliant with the latest COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

Inovalon and design®, Inovalon®, and ABILITY INFECTIONWATCH® are trademarks of Inovalon, Inc.

About the author

Laurie Laxton, R.N., B.S.N., C.M.A.S., C.C.F.A., R.A.C.-C.T., I.P.-B.C., Q.C.P., Principal Clinical Trainer