The Nursing Home COVID-19 Public File includes data reported by nursing homes to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) system COVID-19 Long Term Care Facility Module, including Resident Impact, Facility Capacity, Staff & Personnel, and Supplies & Personal Protective Equipment, and Ventilator Capacity and Supplies Data Elements.
For a full list of variables included in this Public Use File (PUF) and their descriptions, please see the data dictionary. The file contains an individual record for each certified Medicare skilled nursing facility/Medicaid nursing facility and the ending date for each collection week, and is updated weekly. We note that the presence of cases of COVID-19 in a nursing home does not automatically indicate noncompliance with federal requirements. This information is used to assist with national surveillance of COVID-19 in nursing homes, and support actions to protect the health and safety of nursing home residents.
NOTE: This is preliminary data and may be subject to fluctuations as facilities are given the opportunity to submit and correct their data on the NHSN website. The first deadline for reporting data was 11:59 p.m. EST Sunday, May 17, 2020. As the number of facilities reporting increases each week, it will increase the reported number of COVID-19 cases, suspected cases, and deaths each week. Additionally, facilities may opt to report cumulative data retrospectively back to January 1, 2020. Therefore, some facilities may be reporting higher numbers of cases/deaths compared to other facilities, due to their retrospective reporting. Numbers for Week Ending 05/24/2020 may include reporting for any time between 01/01/2020 through 05/24/2020. Reporting for subsequent weeks is on a weekly basis.
Additionally, data quality checks were performed to identify instances where facilities may have entered incorrect data, such as entering cumulative counts over time instead of new cases, and other data entry errors. In these cases, we will display facilities as having submitted data, but will not include their data in our dataset or analyses to preserve the accuracy of the data presented. Facilities that have submitted erroneous data will have an “N” displayed in the column titled “Passed Quality Assurance Check.”
Therefore, CMS cautions users to consider these factors when performing any analysis. For example, data reported over the first few weeks should not be used to perform trend analysis and longitudinal analyses. We expect the data to stabilize as nursing homes become more familiar with how to submit data via the NHSN Long Term Care Facility Module. Please view the Data Dictionary for more information about data limitations.
As part of CMS’ commitment to protecting nursing home residents, and to boost the surveillance of COVID-19, nursing homes are now required to conduct testing of residents and staff. These guidelines include testing staff on a certain frequency based on the COVID-19 positivity rate for the county the nursing home resides in. Facilities should monitor these rates every other week and adjust staff testing accordingly.
Supporting COVID-19 Testing
The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), recently announced that we will begin providing nursing homes with a Point of Care (POC) rapid response testing instrument to bolster each facility’s ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The data collected through the NHSN system directly supports this initiative by helping to prioritize the nursing homes with testing needs and an increasing number of cases. For the methodology describing how facilities are prioritized, and a listing of the facilities, please click here. A list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) is also available here. For more information about the testing instruments, please view our recorded webinar. Also, view our toolkit for nursing homes using point of care devices for SARS-CoV-2 testing as a quick reference guide to important information about testing.