CMS Issues Informational Bulletin on Medicaid Reimbursement Strategies to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 in Nursing Facilities

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Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Medicaid Informational Bulletin (CIB) that provides guidance to states on flexibilities that are available to increase reimbursement for nursing facilities that implement specific infection control practices, such as designating a quarantine or isolation wing for COVID-19 patients.

Nursing facilities are particularly vulnerable to the prevalence and spread of COVID-19 and states must take proactive steps to enhance infection control policies, including establishing practices to limit potential transmission, and prevent widespread outbreaks within these facilities. Today’s guidance highlights specific steps some states have taken to better support nursing facilities’ ability to safely care for all residents, including COVID-19 positive residents, and how enhanced reimbursement supported those efforts.

The CIB includes information on the Disaster State Plan Amendments (SPA) template and describes how states may use state-directed payments to increase reimbursement to nursing facilities in managed care. Today’s release encourages states to utilize the flexibilities that are available and in alignment with applicable Centers for Disease Control guidance and coordinated with the state agency responsible for nursing facility compliance.