The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will assume responsibility for the collection of hospital COVID-19 data, beginning in mid-December 2022. According to HHS, hospitals, as well as third parties collecting and reporting data on their behalf, will report data to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). The reporting of these data is required under a Medicare Condition of Participation (CoP) adopted in 2020.
Since 2020, HHS has used a web portal operated by TeleTracking as the primary mechanism for hospitals to collect and report required COVID-19 data. However, TeleTracking’s contract with HHS expires at the end of 2022. As a result, HHS opted to move the responsibility for hospital data reporting to the CDC’s NHSN. The NHSN already is used to collect healthcare-associated infection and health care personnel vaccination data from hospitals for the purposes of CMS’s quality measurement programs.
HHS has indicated that most aspects of the reporting process will remain unchanged, and that the primary change is to the data system. HHS says it will not change or add to the data questions upon which hospitals currently collect. In addition, NHSN will retain existing options for third parties to collect and report data on hospitals’ behalf. These options include:
- Health system corporate offices
- Jurisdictions (e.g., state health departments)
- State hospital associations
- Third-party vendors
To support hospitals and other stakeholders in preparing for the transition, CDC has established a transition website that will be updated on an ongoing basis with information, FAQs and other guidance. CDC also intends to open the NHSN portal by October to enable hospitals and third parties the opportunity to test the submission process. Lastly, the CDC also will host three rounds of training webinars, beginning in late August. Registration links are provided on the transition website.
For information on how the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is enforcing the condition of participation for hospitals to report HHS-requested COVID-19 data, see the AHA’s Oct. 6, 2020 Special Bulletin. If you have further questions, contact Akin Demehin, AHA’s senior director of policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.