Schakowsky Slams CMS For Failing To Publish Coronavirus Data From Nursing Homes

June 1, 2020
Press Release

EVANSTON, IL – Today, U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Co-Chair of the House Democrats’ Task Force on Aging and Families, released the following statement after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) failed to publish COVID-19 data that the agency has been collecting from U.S. nursing homes by May 31:

“On April 15, 77 of my colleagues joined me to urge HHS Secretary Azar and CMS Administrator Verma to collect COVID-19 data from nursing home facilities and to report this data to residents, staff, families, and the general public. On April 19, CMS Administrator Verma made a big announcement at the White House that she would do so, and her agency later promised Congress that this data would be made public by the end of May. That timeline was already too slow to meet the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis in our nation’s nursing homes. It is completely unacceptable that CMS has failed to meet the generous deadline they set for themselves. Nearly 40 percent of our nation’s COVID-19 deaths have been tied to nursing homes. Our long-term care residents and workers have been crying out for help for months, and the Trump Administration’s inexplicable delay is a national disgrace. This data is essential for an effective federal response to this crisis.”

On Wednesday, April 15, 2020, Congresswoman Schakowsky led 77 of her colleagues in sending a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma asking them to work with states, localities, and private labs to immediately collect and publicly report facility-level data on the number of long-term care residents affected by the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including cases and fatalities. 

Schakowsky has also called on CMS to ensure this data is demographic-specific, including race and ethnicity, in light of the growing racial disparity in COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities.