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H.R. 6972 (116th): Nursing Home COVID–19 Protection and Prevention Act of 2020

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 22, 2020.

Nursing Home COVID-19 Protection and Prevention Act of 2020

This bill establishes several programs and requirements to address the outbreak of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) in skilled nursing facilities, nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, and psychiatric hospitals.

Specifically, the bill provides specified funds for states to support cohorting (i.e., separating and grouping) individuals in such facilities based on COVID-19 status. States may use funds for specified items and activities, including testing kits, staffing, and facility development. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) must issue related guidance that includes, among other things, which facilities are permitted to cohort individuals and strategies for effective implementation; such guidance must account for certain factors, including a facility's compliance with Medicare and Medicaid requirements regarding infection control and emergency preparedness.

The CMS must also provide monthly congressional briefings on the outbreak in these facilities and related agency actions.