LeadingAge Iowa is a statewide membership organization of non-profit providers of aging services and supports and the champion for advancement and innovation in aging services. Our mission is to be the voice, support and connector for non-profit members and the people they serve. Our membership is diverse, representing the spectrum of non-profit long-term support and service providers including skilled nursing, assisted and independent living, PACE, home health, adult day, respite, hospice and home delivered meals.  Our members serve over 25,000 older adults in Iowa each day.

CMS Issues QSO Lifting Vaccine Mandate and Other COVID-19 Requirements

On May 2, 2023, CMS issued QSO-23-13-ALL, outlining guidance for the conclusion of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). Included in the memo are several items that will bring relief to most providers.

The QSO is summarized in depth in this article, however, here are a few key points:

  • The COVID-19 vaccine mandate will be terminated with an effective date and details to come at a later date (likely around May 11).
  • Reporting new COVID-19 cases to residents, families, and representatives under F885 will no longer be enforced by CMS and surveyors.
  • Reporting to NHSN through the COVID-19 module will continue until December 31, 2024, but CMS and the CDC can adjust the information collected.
  • Reporting vaccination information to NHSN through the Weekly HCP COVID-19 Vaccination module will continue indefinitely unless additional regulatory action is taken.
  • Testing will continue to be required under CDC guidance and will be cited under F880 (Infection Prevention and Control) upon the expiration of the PHE.  
  • For non-nursing home providers there are instances where CMS has instructed surveyors to delay surveying for compliance for an established period of time upon conclusion of the PHE.
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Non-Profit Aging Services Providers Applaud State Lawmakers for Moving Forward on Critical Investments in Essential Care & Services for Older Iowans

Today, the Iowa General Assembly passed Senate File 561, the Health and Human Services budget, that includes $15 million in additional support for aging services providers.  LeadingAge Iowa, issued the following statement:

“Today is an important step forward for anyone who wants to age with dignity in Iowa.

The budget passed today shows that Iowa’s lawmakers are committed to ensuring every Iowan can access the care and support they need to age with dignity. Even as aging services providers across the country continue to struggle with exploding costs and workforce shortages, Iowa’s lawmakers were among the first in the country to listen to the dire warnings being voiced by our aging services professionals. Now, they are among the first to respond to the escalating costs that have threatened access to care for Iowa’s older population.