CMS Issues New Laboratory and Hospital COVID-19 Reporting Requirements

On August 25, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released an interim final rule related to additional policy and regulatory provisions in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The interim final rule adds mandatory conditions of participation requirements for hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) to report COVID-19 data and requires laboratories to report COVID-19 testing results or face monetary fines.

CMS will require hospitals and CAHs to report daily information including the number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 positive patients, ICU beds occupied, and availability of essential supplies and equipment such as ventilators and PPE. The new rules make reporting a condition of participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Facilities that do not comply with the regulations face possible termination of Medicare and Medicaid payments if they are unable to correct reporting deficiencies.

CMS additionally issues new rules requiring laboratories to report COVID-19 test results daily to HHS. All laboratories conducting COVID-19 testing will be required to comply, including hospital labs, nursing homes, and other facilities testing for COVID-19 under a CLIA Certificate of Waiver. CMS will impose a civil monetary fine of $1,000 for the first day of non-compliance, and $500 for each subsequent day. Labs will have a one-time, three-week grace period to begin reporting required testing data.

The interim final rule is available here.