powered by LeadingAge New York

Nursing Home Surveys Are Back

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in August 2020 that states should resume normal survey activities. In March, survey activity was suspended, and for the most part, only Infection Control Focused Surveys were conducted. In June, CMS authorized expanding survey activities and finally in August directed states to resume full survey activities.

Only a small number of surveys have been performed since August. However, we are seeing some patterns that suggest that the survey focus today is similar to the focus pre-pandemic, with many of the same issues being cited. The notable exception is Infection Control, which is being cited with increased frequency. CMS issued guidance on Infection Control in June 2020. In addition to requiring all nursing homes to have a COVID-19 Infection Control Focused Survey by the end of July 2020, CMS advised that 20 percent of nursing homes will continue to receive this Infection Control Focused Survey in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.

We have some concern that many providers, during the suspension of survey activities, may have focused, and rightfully so, on infection control issues, and as a result, routine compliance issues may not have received the attention they deserve. That might lead to some potential vulnerabilities as regular Department of Health (DOH) surveys resume.

In the past, LeadingAge NY ProCare has performed mock surveys as a way of preparing members for the DOH survey. Not being able to conduct these visits in person, we have instead developed a mock survey training module designed to help your staff understand the survey process, the actions to best prepare for the DOH survey, and areas of potential vulnerability. The survey makes use of facility Quality Metrics data to help the staff to focus on facility-specific issues. The LeadingAge NY ProCare staff then analyzes the data collected and provides recommendations to address any potential compliance issues. The survey is done entirely remotely.

Contact: Elliott Frost, efrost@leadingageny.org, 518-441-8761