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To Focus on COVID-19 Threats, CMS Suspends Non-Emergency Inspections

CMS also issued guidelines for the inspection process in situations where COVID-19 is suspected.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is suspending non-emergency inspections in order to allow inspectors to focus on the most serious health and safety threats.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in a March 4, 2020 letter to State Survey Agency Directors that CMS is suspending non-emergency inspections in order to allow inspectors to focus on the most serious health and safety threats, like infectious diseases and abuse. This shift is intended to allow inspectors to focus on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).  

Accordingly, effective immediately, CMS survey activity is limited to the following (in priority order): immediate jeopardy (IJ) complaints and allegations of abuse and neglect; complaints alleging infection control concerns; statutorily required recertification surveys; re-visits necessary to resolve current enforcement actions; initial certifications; surveys of facilities that have a history of infection control deficiencies at the IJ level in the last three years; and surveys of facilities that have a history of infection control deficiencies at lower levels than IJ.  CMS has also included with the letter guidelines to State Survey Agencies for inspections when COVID-19 is suspected.

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