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Hospitals Experiencing COVID-19 Surges Can Notify CDPH to Request CMS Survey Suspension

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

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has stated that it will continue to remain flexible in its approach to surveys if a hospital experiences a COVID-19 surge.  

To seek this flexibility on CMS surveys, hospitals experiencing a COVID-19 surge of patients should notify their local California Department of Public Health (CDPH) District Office as soon as possible; CDPH is the state survey agency for California. CDPH will then coordinate with CMS to consider a short-term, hospital-specific survey suspension.  

CMS notes that once surveyors are onsite at a hospital, they will not be recalled. So, this request would need to occur prior to the survey activity. In addition, CMS clarifies that surveys on complaints alleging immediate threat to patient health and safety will continue regardless of this process, as they have throughout prior CMS survey reprioritizations.