Mandatory Reporting of NHs CLIA Antigen Point of Care Test Reports to NHSN Part II: Specific Info on Upgrading SAMS Level 1 to SAMS Level 3

Jackie Pappalardi Lisa Volk and Tarrah Quinlan in Clinical & Quality

CMS has added a new requirement that all Point of Care (POC) antigen test results conducted in a nursing home facility must be reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), effective immediately. The June 4th HHS memo on laboratory testing lists the required data to enter in the NHSN and has now been updated to state:

 “#4 CMS-certified long-term care facilities shall submit point-of-care COVID-19 testing data, including antigen testing data, to CDC’s NHSN”.  

To access this new reporting module, Nursing Homes facilities must have an established Secure Access Management Services (SAMS) SAMS Level-3 access. 

If you do not currently have SAMS Level-3 access, please follow the registration instructions listed below. Please act immediately to upgrade from SAMS Level-1 to Level-3 access to avoid enforcement penalties and to meet this new requirement. 

This process can take up to four weeks, so do not delay.

If you have not already started the upgrade process, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Have two forms of identification [] ready to submit.
  2. Log into SAMS at  and use the Update Profile menu option on the left side of the page. Confirm that your home mailing address is correct and current within your SAMS profile. 
  3. Ensure that your name and address match how it appears on your submitted identification (such as your state issued driver’s license). 
  4. Once you submit your identification, SAMS must confirm your identity. Once confirmed, SAMS will send you a “Welcome to SAMS” email as well as a SAMS Grid Card mailed to your residential/home address via USPS mail. The SAMS Grid Card permits LEVEL-3 access to NHSN. 
  5. After receiving your SAMS grid card via USPS mail, you must login to SAMS at Underneath the National Healthcare Safety Network System header select “NHSN Reporting” link. NOTE: Do NOT access NHSN LTC Reporting as this option will direct you back to Level-1 security.  

Alternatively, nursing home facilities can email  with the subject line “Enhancing Data Security” to begin upgrading their SAMS access to use this Pathway.  

This new requirement goes into effect immediately. However, CMS has verbally indicated that they will exercise enforcement discretion until November 20th. More information on this new reporting module is available here. CDC will also be holding training webinars in the coming weeks. 

NYSHFA-NYSCAL will provide updated information on webinars and any other information as we receive the updates from AHCA and CMS. 


Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Tarrah Quinlan
Director of Education Program Development and Member Operation
518-462-4800 x20