ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The federal government announced new regulations this week aimed at cracking down on nursing homes and other long-term care facilities operating without proper infection control. 

What You Need To Know

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued new regulations

  • Regulations specify inspections specifically aimed at infection control

  • Repeat-offender facilities face steeper fines

  • Rules could also affect funding states receive through federal CARES Act

On Wednesday, the number of COVID-19 deaths tied to long-term care facilities in Florida reached 1,306, making up more than half the deaths statewide.  

As that number continues to grow, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services handed down new regulations that specify inspections focused on infection control and steeper fines for facilities in non-compliance. 

Jeff Johnson, the State Director of AARP, hopes the stricter enforcement will have an impact.

“Every facility should already have a really rigorous infection control,” Johnson said.  “And over the years, as state regulators have inspected nursing homes, they’ve found some that have been wanting.”

The new rules could also affect some of the funding states can receive through the CARES Act. Each state now has until July 31 to complete the new infection control inspections at all of its nursing homes, or submit a plan of action to complete them​ within 30 days. 

If the plan isn’t executed within the time period, the money allocated to them by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services through the CARES Act will be reduced by 10 percent for the year 2021.

Read the new regulations in the document below: