SNFs Lag Behind in Reporting Vaccination Rates to CMS
Vaccination reporting to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for skilled nursing facilities kicked off last month. McKnight’s reports data shows that only 25% of SNFs have reported vaccination rates for staff and residents as of May 30. Starting Monday, June 14 operators will be penalized for not reporting vaccination data.
A spokesperson from CMS stated that the organization does not want to impose civil monetary penalties. However, if nursing homes do not submit vaccination rates for both staff and residents by the end of Sunday, June 13, they will have no choice but to penalize the operators.
The agency does expect more operators to submit data before the deadline. Jodi Eyigor, nursing home policy lead at LeadingAge, stated “if you have not begun to include the vaccination data and the therapeutics in your data submissions by this Sunday night at 11:59 p.m., then come Monday morning, you’re going to find a CMP.”
According to the leaders at the American Health Care Association, additional efforts need to be made in order to attain the original goal of vaccinating 75% of staff by June 30. They stated “these preliminary results indicate that while we have made considerable progress in the past few months, we still have farther to go.” There has been a push to educate staff in nursing homes on COVID-19 vaccinations to help remove any fears or concerns regarding them.
Latest data shows that less than 750 nursing homes out of the total 15,000 in the country have reached the 75% goal of staff vaccinations. Top states include Vermont (78.3%) and California (76.5%) while Wyoming (39.9%) and Mississippi (41%) are at the lower end of attaining the goal. Vermont also leads with the highest percentage of vaccinated residents at 96.9% while states like Nevada (65.1%) and Georgia (69.7%) lag behind.
Operators have had to report testing, infection and mortality rates for COVID-19 since last year. Now they must also report vaccination rates. The goal is to increase transparency and help provide resources to operators who are struggling to meet the goal.