Responding to recent incidents in which patients were subjected to harm in ways that necessitated a fast response, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is revising the way surveyors assess and respond to failures that place patients in “immediate jeopardy.”
CMS Administrator Seema Verma posted a blog in which she announced revisions to the guidance to surveyors on immediate jeopardy. The new guidance requires them to complete a three-question template, which is shared with the facility. The goal is to immediately share the surveyor’s observations with the facility so it can resolve the issue immediately, Verma explained. (Verma’s blog post is available online at: https://go.cms.gov/2tVGYAo. The new guidance to surveyors is available online at: https://go.cms.gov/2C7BMxO.)
“Despite stringent safeguards, alarming stories continue to be reported about people, including some of our most vulnerable individuals, who have experienced harm in healthcare settings that is devastating to these patients and their families. These include cases of sexual, physical, or mental abuse; neglect and medical mistakes resulting in death; and serious and life-threatening injuries or impairments.” Verma wrote.
Noting that “many stakeholders have voiced concerns that the guidance needs to be clearer and more consistent to identify serious quality concerns across states,” Verma explained that “this new guidance clarifies what information is needed to identify immediate jeopardy cases across all healthcare provider types, which we believe will result in quickly identifying and ultimately preventing these situations.”