Press release

CMS Administrator Seema Verma Hosts COVID-19 Roundtables in Atlanta

On Monday, July 27, Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, convened a roundtable discussion on the impact of COVID-19 at the Sam Nunn Federal Center in Atlanta alongside U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler.  Georgia health care leaders, providers, disease organizations, and advocacy groups met to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on Georgia’s most vulnerable populations.

The robust discussion centered on the challenges facing health systems and skilled nursing facilities during the public health emergency, and the ravaging impact COVID-19 has had on vulnerable Georgians, especially those with pre-existing conditions like kidney disease and diabetes. Local health care leaders discussed best practices that are being used and how health systems and skilled nursing facilities are sharing their successes with one another to slow the spread of COVID-19. Providers expressed how telehealth benefits have allowed them to stay connected with patients throughout the public health emergency and ways newly available funding will better support nursing homes as they continue to work to protect nursing home residents. Administrator Verma expressed her gratitude to those who attended and stressed how hearing from those on the ground, in real time, allows CMS to better tailor policies that address the unique circumstances facing each and every state. 

Representatives from the National Black Nurses Foundation, Diabetes Patient Advocate Coalition, Emory Healthcare, Georgia Department of Community Health, Georgia Health Care Association, Grady Health System, The Office of Governor Brian Kemp, McRae Manor, National Kidney Foundation, Morehouse School of Medicine, Piedmont Healthcare, PruittHealth, and Wellstar Health Systems were in attendance.  

CMS Public Health Action for Nursing Homes on COVID-19 as of July 22, 2020 

February 6, 2020

CMS took action to prepare the nation’s healthcare facilities for the COVID-19 threat.

March 4, 2020

CMS issued new guidance related to the screening of entrants into nursing homes.

March 10, 2020

CMS issued guidance related to the use of PPE.

March 13, 2020

CMS issued guidance on the restriction of nonessential medical staff and all visitors except in certain limited situations.

March 23, 2020

CMS announced a suspension of routine inspections, and an exclusive focus on immediate jeopardy situations and infection control inspections.

March 30, 2020

CMS announced that hospitals, laboratories, and other entities can perform tests for COVID-19 on people at home and in other community-based settings outside of the hospital – including nursing homes.

April 2, 2020

CMS issued a call to action for nursing homes and state and local governments reinforcing infection control responsibilities and urging leaders to work closely with nursing homes on access to testing and PPE. 

April 15, 2020

CMS announced the agency will nearly double payment for certain lab tests that use high-throughput technologies to rapidly diagnose large numbers of COVID-19 cases.

April 19, 2020

CMS announced it will require nursing homes to report cases of COVID-19 to all residents and their families, as well as directly to the CDC. On May 1, CMS published the proposed policy in an Interim Final Rule. The rule became effective on May 8.

April 30, 2020

CMS announced the formation of an independent Commission that will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to COVID-19.

May 6, 2020

CMS released a memorandum to State Survey Agency directors providing more details on the new reporting requirements of the Interim Final Rule.

May 13, 2020

CMS published a new informational toolkit comprising recommendations and best practices from a variety of front line health care providers, governors’ COVID-19 task forces, associations and other organizations and experts that is intended to serve as a catalogue of resources dedicated to addressing the specific challenges facing nursing homes as they combat COVID-19. Toolkit is found here: Toolkit

May 18, 2020

CMS issued guidance for state and local officials on the reopening of nursing homes.

June 1, 2020

CMS issued guidance to states on COVID-19 survey activities, CARES Act funding, enhanced enforcement for infection control deficiencies, and quality improvement activities in nursing homes. CMS also issued a letter to Governors.

June 4, 2020

CMS post first set of underlying COVID-19 nursing home data and results from targeted inspections conducted by the agency since March 4, 2020 linked on Nursing Home Compare

June 19, 2020

CMS announced membership of Independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in nursing homes

June 23, 2020

CMS released FAQs on nursing home visitation.  

June 25, 2020

CMS released a memo announcing the end of the emergency blanket waiver for the nursing home staffing data submission requirement.

July 10, 2020

CMS announced it will deploy Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) across the country to provide immediate assistance to nursing homes in hotspot areas.


July 14, 2020

HHS and CMS announced initiative for rapid point-of-care diagnostic devices and tests in nursing homes. 

July 22, 2020

CMS announced several new initiatives designed to protect nursing home residents from COVID-19, including new funding, enhanced testing and additional technical assistance and support.



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