Every business came to a halt with the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, everything is settling back to normalcy, and CMS is getting back to business with its full strength.
They have officially asked state survey agencies to get on with the normal operations.
According to the CMS (The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) memo, they will be inspecting and regulating quality and safety measures for patients of their authorized healthcare professionals, medical billing services, and other care suppliers. They are to resume their enforcement activities and other surveys in order to get an idea of their performance having patients being the priority.
How Is It Going to Work?
The last few months were hectic for the CMS. They were conducting surveys about the virus control and response in particular, virtually from all nursing homes in America.
However, now non-emergency onsite revisit surveys will be conducted. Compliant surveys and annual certification surveys will now be more focused upon, as soon the right resources are accessible to the team. The on-hold enforcement cases will also see the light of day and be resolved.
CMS also says that they will continue with the desk review policy to ensure that survey parties comply with the federal rules for an onsite survey.
Even during the catastrophic pandemic situation, CMS only focused on patients’ satisfaction.
“They have imposed more than $15 million in civil money penalties (CMPs) to more than 3,400 nursing homes during the public health emergency for non-compliance with infection control requirements and the failure to report coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) data.” (Source: CMS)
Protect the Residents of Nursing Homes
The penalties were an extension to Trump’s vision of safeguarding the residents of nursing homes during the pandemic. However, CMS ensures some comfort via relaxing the strict quality measures requirements based on the critical situation in any particular state.
Provider Surveys in Progress for a Stable Healthcare System
Given below is the list of types of surveys that would be the top priority.
The idea is to give healthcare professionals and medical practices the ease to estimate their survey turn and plan accordingly.
The FY 2020 Mission & Priority Document highlighted how survey agencies should resume back to normal work.
- Initial surveys of new providers
- Special Purpose Renal Dialysis Facilities (SPRDFs)
- Past-due recertification surveys without a statutorily required survey interval
- Unfinished complaint surveys triaged as non-immediate Jeopardy level or higher
- Revisit surveys for past non-compliance that do not otherwise qualify for a desk review
- Past-due recertification surveys with a statutorily required survey interval (home health agencies and hospices must be surveyed every 36 months)
As medical billing companies and healthcare practitioners, we should be ready for audits and surveys, which will also help us to see where we stand in a progressive healthcare system.