Coronavirus Update: CMS Will Only Conduct Certain Surveys During COVID-19 Enforcement Discretion Period

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will prioritize and conduct only certain surveys during the COVID-19 national emergency’s three-week enforcement discretion period, the agency has announced. These include surveys related to complaints and facility-reported incidents that are triaged at the immediate jeopardy level, and targeted infection control surveys of providers identified in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The infection control surveys will use a streamlined review checklist, which also will be shared with providers and suppliers for voluntary self-assessment of their infection control plan and protections.

With respect to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, CMS intends to prioritize immediate jeopardy situations over recertification surveys and to generally use enforcement discretion unless immediate jeopardy situations arise. CMS also will continue to authorize initial certification surveys in accordance with current guidance and prioritization.

“America’s hospitals and health systems appreciate CMS’s temporary suspension of routine Conditions of Participation surveys as we continue our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” AHA said. “This decision by CMS will help hospitals and health systems on the front lines of providing care to continue to focus on caring for their patients and communities in this challenging time.”

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