Press release

CMS Administrator Seema Verma Hosts Roundtables in Cleveland

On Thursday, July 23, Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, convened two roundtable discussions with Ohio officials, Cleveland health care leaders, providers, educators, and other community stakeholders to discuss the impact of and response to COVID-19 on vulnerable populations in Ohio and the flexibilities that have been made available during the public health emergency.  

The first roundtable opened with a discussion about the innovative care that Cleveland healthcare providers are delivering to patients by utilizing the expanded care flexibilities that have been offered during the public health emergency. Telehealth, remote patient monitoring, and the use of alternative sites thanks to the CMS Hospitals without Walls Initiative, are ensuring patients receive much needed care during the pandemic. During the afternoon session, a discussion with local leaders focused on the challenges facing our nation’s schools and how children are being adversely affected by COVID-19.  The group went on to discuss the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on vulnerable populations, especially nursing home residents. Administrator Verma discussed rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests that were being issued to every nursing home in the country, and reinforced the Trump Administration’s commitment to deploying every tool, resource, and power at our disposal to protect America’s most vulnerable. 

Representatives from University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s, University Hospitals, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, University Hospitals Rainbow Center for Women & Children, the Ohio Department of Medicaid, The Office of Governor Mike DeWine, Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, Cleveland Municipal School District, and the Positive Education Program were in attendance.

On July 22, 2020, CMS announced several new initiatives designed to protect nursing home residents from COVID-19.  These unprecedented efforts included new funding, enhanced testing, and additional technical assistance and support to nursing homes.

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.



Contact: CMS Media Relations
CMS Media Inquiries

Get CMS news at, sign up for CMS news via email and follow CMS on @CMSgov