This week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new SNF Prospective Payment System for the 2022 fiscal year. McKnight’s reports that one part of this proposal includes a new quality measure which will require skilled nursing facilities to track the vaccinations of its staff.
If passed, nursing homes will be required to submit information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network. Reported data will need to include the number of staff that are working at the site and the number of those that have completed vaccinations. CMS states that “this proposed measure has the potential to generate actionable data on vaccination rates that can be used to target quality improvement among SNF providers.”
If the proposal is accepted, long term care facilities would need to provide data on staff vaccinations at least one week a month.
Vaccinations in skilled nursing facilities began in December of 2020. In the first few rounds only about 37.5% of staff were vaccinated. Currently facilities are not required to submit vaccination rates for any staff.
The proposal would require SNFs to publicly declare vaccination rates for each quarter. Since nursing home staff work in close proximity with residents, families have expressed concerns regarding those that are still not vaccinated. Reporting vaccination data will help limit the spread of infection rates in the facilities and provide transparency to family and friends.
If approved, long-term care facilities would be required to collect data beginning October 1, 2021, and it would be made public in the 2023 fiscal year within the SNF Quality Reporting Program.