Medicare Requires Nursing Homes to Report COVID vaccinations By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR

As of Tuesday,  Medicare will require nursing homes to report COVID-19 vaccination rates for residents and staff.  This push hopes to help to increase vaccinations among residents, staff and their families. The virus continues to ebb and flow and “people living in long-term care facilities have borne a heavy toll from the pandemic. They represent about 1% of the U.S. population but accounted for roughly 1 in 3 deaths, according to previous estimates from the COVID Tracking Project” (Alonso-Zaldiar). The article states that “nursing homes will now be required to submit weekly vaccination numbers for residents and staff to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That requirement will take effect within two weeks. Medicare officials say it may take two to four more weeks after that for the data to start flowing. The plan is to post facility-level information on the internet so residents and families can easily access the details from Medicare’s “Compare Care” website”.

This push is hoping to give more detailed information regarding the amount of vaccines being used successfully. The article states that, “Cases and deaths plummeted after the government launched a concerted effort to vaccinate residents and staff. The CDC reports that nearly 2.9 million nursing home residents and staffers are fully vaccinated. Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have opened up family visits again after spending a year in lockdown”. Since nursing homes are already required to report flu vaccine reports, adding this requirement should not be a momentous change for them.

All in all, reporting vaccinations will help the CDC track the virus and where it is ebbing and flowing.