CMS QSO Memo Regarding Prioritization of Survey Activities

CMS Memo QSO-20-20-ALL:

Infection Control Survey Checklist

CMS is prioritizing surveys by authorizing modification of timetables and deadlines for the performance of certain required activities, delaying revisit surveys, and generally exercising enforcement discretion for three weeks. During this three-week timeframe, beginning March 20, 2020, only the following types of surveys will be prioritized and conducted:

  • Complaint/facility-reported incident surveys: State survey agencies (SSAs) will conduct surveys related to complaints and facility-reported incidents (FRIs) that are triaged at the Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) level. A streamlined Infection Control review tool will also be utilized during these surveys, regardless of the Immediate Jeopardy allegation.
  • Targeted Infection Control Surveys: Federal CMS and State surveyors will conduct targeted Infection Control surveys of providers identified through collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). They will use a streamlined review checklist to minimize the impact on provider activities, while ensuring providers are implementing actions to protect the health and safety of individuals to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CMS is disseminating the Targeted Infection Control Survey checklist developed by CMS and CDC so facilities can educate themselves on the latest practices and expectations. CMS expects facilities to use this new process, in conjunction with the latest guidance from CDC, to perform a voluntary self-assessment of their ability to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. The checklist is attached.

Though the contents of the memo and checklist are provided by CMS, DHSS is adhering to the same requirements for all facilities. All facilities should complete the infection control self-assessment.