Healthcare News & Insights

Coronavirus: Emergency aid, new reporting options for hospitals

To help in the battle against coronavirus, hospitals will be getting an additional $75 billion from a new $484 billion stimulus package signed into law at the end of last week. 

Meanwhile, here’s how the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said remaining promised funds from the CARES Act will be distributed in the coming weeks:

  • $50 billion in general funds to hospitals
  • $20 billion in general funds to providers, based on their 2018 net patient revenues
  • $10 billion to hospitals in areas hit hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak
  • $10 billion to rural hospitals, and
  • $400 million to Indian Health Service facilities.

Tracking coronavirus cases

In addition, the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) is supporting the nation’s coronavirus response by introducing a COVID-19 module.

The optional module allows hospitals to let the feds know how they’re doing with daily aggregate reporting of:

  • counts of patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses
  • current use and availability of beds and ventilators, and
  • staffing and supply status and availability.

You can report one, two or all three of the pathways. Participation doesn’t require patient-level data collection.

What’s it for?

As part of the larger effort to contain the pandemic, data submitted to NHSN will be used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) emergency COVID-19 response and HHS’ COVID-19 tracking system, maintained in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response.

To supplement state and local COVID-19 reporting requirements, NHSN will also make relevant data accessible to state and local health departments to offer additional insight on what’s happening at their hospitals.

Easing reporting burden

The CDC website has slides, a YouTube video, printable Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity forms, spreadsheet templates and instructions to get you started.

Although daily reporting provides the timeliest data, retrospective reporting of a prior day’s data is accepted if daily reporting isn’t feasible. For example, Saturday and Sunday data can be submitted on Mondays.

Partial data is OK if complete data isn’t available. The minimum requirements to save your data entries in the Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity pathway are reporting Hospital Inpatient Beds and the date for which the count is reported. The Healthcare Worker Staffing and Healthcare Supplies pathways require at least one question be answered in each pathway and the date for the data.

Your data can be submitted using manual entry spreadsheet files for individual facilities or bulk spreadsheet file uploads for multiple facilities.

Note: If you share a CMS Certification Number (CCN) with another facility, report your data as an individual hospital.

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