CMS to Assist State Survey Agencies in Backlog of Nursing Home Complaint and Recertification Surveys
By: Emily H. Lineweaver
In early 2020, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the Public Health Emergency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) limited the number of onsite Medicare and Medicaid nursing home surveys. This created a backlog in facility complaint and recertification survey activity. The limited survey activity in nursing homes also reportedly led to concerns about how resident’s health and safety may have been impacted.
On November 12, 2021,CMS announced that it will be taking steps to assist the State Survey Agencies (SAs). These steps include the issuance of: (i) revised criteria for conducting COVID-19 Focused Infection Control Surveys; (ii) guidance for resuming recertification surveys; and (iii) temporary guidance and minor flexibilities related to complaint investigations. In addition, CMS announced it will be increasing oversight in nursing homes. CMS is instructing surveyor’s specifically to assess compliance with the requirement for nursing staff to have the appropriate competencies. To view the Changes to COVID-19 Survey Activities and Increased Oversight in Nursing Homes full memorandum issued by CMS, click here.