Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today released the following statement regarding an announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requiring nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to report all cases of COVID-19 to the federal government. On April 17, Grassley called on CMS to take such actions in a letter to Administrator Seema Verma and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar.
“This is a good first step to improving conditions in nursing homes during this health crisis,” Grassley said. “Knowing the extent of the problem is the only way to solve it and help protect vulnerable senior citizens and other residents in long-term care facilities. These groups have the highest mortality rate from coronavirus and need proper care. While regulations for these facilities are largely state-based, I’m glad President Trump, Secretary Azar and Administrator Verma have stepped up to the plate and the federal government is doing its part to help ensure the safety and health of nursing home residents. Federal taxpayers fund nursing homes with billions of dollars every year. Every family who has a loved one in a nursing home deserves to know there are basic transparency measures in place. I expect HHS and CMS will continue to hold these facilities accountable, while also taking further action to address my other concerns, such as these facilities’ need for additional testing and personal protective equipment.”