26 States Don’t Mandate COVID-19 Testing for Nursing Home Inspectors

Some states are still creating formal testing requirements

August 24, 2020

An investigation by the Wall Street Journal found that 26 states don’t require nursing home surveyors to receive regular COVID-19 tests, according to an article on the Skilled Nursing website.

At the same time, family members remain barred from visiting in many areas and COVID cases continue to rise. New Hampshire and New Jersey currently have voluntary testing programs. Other states are still creating formal testing requirements.

Individual State Survey Agencies (SSAs) are responsible for inspecting nursing homes. Since March, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has instructed SSAs to focus primarily on infection-control violations, which were common problems even before the start of the pandemic.

CMS recently announced SSAs had completed 99.2 percent of the mandatory targeted infection-control inspections, finding  three times the usual number of citations. But the surveyors have not been subject to the same testing requirements as nursing home staff. 

The Joint Commission suspended official survey and accreditation activity at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and is testing a virtual process for life safety and environment of care surveys, according  to an article on the Health Facilities Management website.

Read the full Skilled Nursing article.



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