HHS has announced that effective immediately, nursing homes must now report point-of-care COVID-19 testing conducted in the nursing home through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) COVID-19 module. This new reporting process updates the June 4 HHS Lab Data Reporting Requirements that required labs, including nursing homes conducting point-of-care testing, to report testing data to state and local health departments. Please note that the announcement linked above has been updated, though the date remains “June 4, 2020”.

This requirement to report data through NHSN applies only to CMS-certified nursing homes and requires Level 3 security access through NHSN. CMS states that they will exercise enforcement flexibility until November 20, 2020 for those nursing homes that can show that they have made a good faith attempt to acquire the necessary security upgrade. CDC has been working with nursing homes over the past several weeks to complete security upgrades, a process that can take up to 4 weeks. Nursing homes that have not yet completed or initiated security enhancement should email nhsn@cdc.gov immediately to begin this process.