COVID-19 Helpful Links





  • 25 EXPERTS NAMED TO INDEPENDENT CORONAVIRUS COMMISSION FOR SAFETY AND QUALITY IN NURSING HOMES  6/19/20  (Members of the White House’s new Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes were announced.  The list includes 25 stakeholders with a variety of different backgrounds and experience in nursing home management as well as safety and quality.  Commission members meet weekly through July; the deadline to issue its report is September 1, 2020.)



  • CMS posted an updated errata (V3.00.4) for the current MDS 3.0 Technical Data Specifications  5/15/20  (These updated MDS 3.0 Item Sets support states’ abilities to calculate PDPM payment codes that was problematic under the previous MDS 3.0 Item Sets v1.17.1.)
  • The FAQs in this document supplement the following previously released FAQs: 1135 Waiver FAQs, available at and
  • Without 1135 Waiver FAQs  (We note that in many instances, the general statements of the FAQs referenced above have been superseded by COVID-19-specific legislation, emergency rules, and waivers granted under section 1135 of the Act specifically to address the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). The policies set out in this FAQ are effective for the duration of the PHE unless superseded by future legislation. A few answers in this document explain provisions from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law No. 116-136 (March 27, 2020).)

CMS - Nursing Facility Specific Visitation and PPE Guidance

CMS - Open Door Forum Transcripts

CMS - Use of CMP Funds for Communication Devices

  • CMS tapped into the Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Reinvestment Program as a means for addressing the issue of resources to facilitate virtual visits between nursing facility residents and their families. Providers should contact the state agency’s CMP contact to apply. A template application, COVID-19 Application for State CMP Funds for Communication Technology, has been posted or adapted by various State Medicaid Agencies.  Questions regarding CMP fund use should be directed to your state agency’s CMP contact

Additional Resources:

CMS - Waiving the 3-day Stay Requirement

CMS - ICD-10

  • CMS has posted FY 2021 ICD-10-PCS procedure code updates, to include a complete list of code titles, on the 2021 ICD-10-PCS webpage. Check the webpage later this month when CMS will post updated FY 2021 ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes. 5/28/20
    • CMS also rescinded MLN Matters article MM11749, released on May 1, 2020 and entitled, International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) & Other Coding Revisions to National Coverage Determination (NCDs) – October 2020 Update. The article was rescinded on May 26, 2020, when Change Request 11749, Transmittal 10092, which also was dated May 1, 2020, was rescinded in its entirety. CMS notes, “… any coding changes to National Coverage Determination 90.2, Next Generation Sequencing, contained in CR 11749 are null and void.”

 CDC – Guidance on Therapy in Nursing Homes

CDC – Infection Prevention in Nursing Homes

CDC - Training resources for healthcare providers

  • Preparing for COVID-19 Webinars: Long-term Care Facilities, Nursing Homes – CDC continues to focus efforts on supporting long-term care facilities. These new webinars are intended to be a training tool/resource for frontline long-term care staff members.

CDC - Tools for infection prevention and control in long-term care facilities

  • Training slides and worksheets shared during CMS’ first of eight weekly training session on setting up an infection control and prevention program are available from CMS” Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program.  Sign up here to receive information on future installments in the National Nursing Home Training Series.
  • Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) tool (Developed to help nursing homes prepare for and respond to COVID-19, should be used as one tool to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 response plan. May also contain content relevant for assisted living facilities.)


CDC Resources for health departments


NHSN reporting


  • CMS released additional data from the Nursing Home COVID-19 Public File which includes data reported by nursing homes to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) system COVID-19 Long Term Care Facility Module.  The data is released weekly and is current as of 6/14/20. 

  • LTCF COVID-19 Module - CDC’s NHSN provides healthcare facilities, such as long term care facilities (LTCF) with a customized system to track infections and prevention process measures in a systematic way.

CDC – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report


CDC – Other Resources

FCC – Telehealth Funding

  • The FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Program will provide $200 million in funding to help healthcare providers provide connected care services to patients by fully funding their telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to provide critical connected care services until the program’s funds have been expended or the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.  According to the FCC, the program is limited to nonprofit and public eligible health care providers and includes skilled nursing facilities (as defined in section 395i-3(a) of title 42).  Applications must be submitted through the online application portal; the online application is available here.  

Additional Information:








  • Coronavirus FAQ document (CMS announced that it is allowing institutional settings to furnish and bill for outpatient therapy delivered via telehealth during the ongoing COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.  See pages 70-71)  5/27/20
  • The Trump Administration released a new toolkit for states to help accelerate adoption of broader telehealth coverage policies in the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) during the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic.  The toolkit will help states identify and address barriers to telehealth coverage during the emergency and includes a compilation of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other resources available to states. 4/23/20
  • The Administration’s toolkit is the latest in a series of tools and checklists that CMS has released to help provide states emergency flexibilities and resources that they need during the during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 
  • HHS Secretary Azar sent a letter urging Governors to “allow all health professionals licensed or certified in other states to practice their professions in your state either in person or via telepractice.” The letter calls upon state governors to exercise emergency powers to modify or suspend state licensure requirements to allow out of state health care professionals to practice in their state.  3/27/20

Senate Aging Committee

  • Senate Aging Committee hearing entitled, “Caring for Seniors Amid the COVID-19 Crisis,” focusing on seniors in hospitals, long term care facilities, and in the community.  5/21/20
    • Testimony from witness R. Tamara Konetzka, PhD, University of Chicago on research examining the link between nursing home quality and COVID-19 infection rates.  (No meaningful relationship between nursing home quality and the probability of at least one COVID-19 case or death.)


NASL Members in the News