States can restart normal hospital survey activities effective March 23

State survey agencies can restart normal hospital survey activities effective March 23, CMS said Friday.

The agency had limited 30-day hospital surveys to complaint surveys involving immediate jeopardy, noncompliance with Medicare hospital conditions of participation and the need for immediate action to protect the health and safety of patients. CMS had paused hospital recertification surveys for most hospitals and enforcement actions for deficiencies near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a memo, all non-immediate jeopardy complaints received since Jan. 20 must be investigated within 45 days. Hospitals must also file their plans of correction for deficiencies noted in surveys since Jan. 20.

“Desk reviews are permitted of all open surveys cited at any level of noncompliance, except for unremoved (immediate jeopardy) findings, which require an onsite revisit,” the memo said.

The agency said onsite revisits should resume and that hospitals will have 60 to 90 days to prove compliance in open enforcement cases involving non-immediate jeopardy problems.


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