CMS Issues Guidance to States on Reopening Nursing Homes: Universal Testing Needed to Lift Visitation Ban

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidelines on reopening nursing homes on Monday, with parameters around testing requirements and visitation — while emphasizing that nursing facilities will be among the last institutions that can safely reopen as the U.S. takes tentative steps toward moving out of COVID-19-induced lockdowns.

CMS announced that states have flexibility on deciding how the criteria in the guidelines should be implemented, given the variety in how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting different communities.

For instance, states can require that all facilities in certain regions meet the reopening benchmarks, or make the call

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