CMS inspections to focus on infection control

March 6, 2020

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this week that the agency is suspending non-emergency inspections and focusing exclusively on infection control and other health and safety threats, such as allegations of abuse, beginning with nursing homes and hospitals.

The change in approach is designed to address the spread of COVID-19, CMS said in a statement.

Among the institutions CMS will prioritize for surveys are those with complaints about infection control issues, including facilities with potential COVID-19 or respiratory illnesses, and facilities that have a history of infection control deficiencies.

The agency also issued several guidance documents.

The first document outlines the procedures inspectors should follow when they are surveying an institution with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.

The second guidance document outlines infection control and prevention procedures that providers should follow, and it includes answers frequently asked questions about triaging, isolating and discharging patients suspected of having COVID-19.

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