CHA News

CMS Confirms Continuing ‘Enforcement Discretion’ and Limited Survey Activity

For licensing and certification staff, legal counsel, directors of nursing

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CHA has confirmed that the general enforcement discretion announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 23 has been extended indefinitely. It applies to hospitals, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, hospices, and laboratories. No surveys will be conducted, with a few exceptions.

No surveys will be conducted except:  

  • In response to complaints and facility-reported incidents that CMS believes may constitute an immediate jeopardy (a streamlined infection control review tool will be used during these surveys, regardless of the allegation) 
  • For targeted infection control surveys of acute and long-term care providers 
  • For initial certification surveys 

The streamlined infection control review tool and explanation are included with the CMS announcement. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) may also use this entrance checklist. While it is labeled for skilled-nursing facilities (SNFs) and references “residents,” it is being used for both SNFs and hospitals. CDPH might also use the acute care worksheets issued by CMS.