The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released information to help states, nursing facilities, and other providers understand the sources of Medicare and Medicaid coverage and payment for COVID-19 testing.

According to the latest COVID-19 update from the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), among these resources is the Coverage and Payment for COVID-19 Testing in Nursing Facilities flow chart, which details testing coverage for nursing facility residents. AHCA/NCAL has developed a summary of this resource, and further information is at https://tinyurl.com/y4x2wu6u.

Separately, CMS has updated the Excel file that flags COVID-19-positive test rates in counties. The agency has also modified the method for classifying a county as green, yellow, or red and expanded the measure to cover results over a 14-day period in each county instead of seven days, AHCA/NCAL said.

CMS will also be posting COVID-positive test data weekly and will allow facilities to use data released by their state or county if the data are more recent than the CMS data. Read more.

Finally, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said assisted living communities that want to receive COVID-19 test kits must have a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) Certificate of Waiver to perform testing. Last week, HHS announced that it would send 540,000 COIVD-19 test kits made by Abbott to assisted living communities this week.

Providers that wish to become CLIA-certified must apply for a CLIA Certificate. Please view the brochure, How to Apply for CLIA Certificate of Waiver, and submit an application form (CMS Form 116) to the state (CLIA State Agency Contacts) where the provider that is applying is located, AHCA/NCAL said.