By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended limitations on hospital surveys to March 22 to help facilities manage the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On Jan. 20, the agency issued a memo restricting hospital complaint surveys to immediate jeopardy allegations. The agency also placed limits on recertification surveys and enforcement actions. This directive was supposed to last 30 days. On Feb. 18, the agency revised this memo, extending all these restrictions into late March.

This move is the latest in a long series of waivers issued to help embattled hospitals manage staff, space, and resources during the pandemic. CMS has combined that into one list here.

Eventually, the COVID-19 pandemic will end, and the regular survey process will resume. To prepare, read the October 2020 issue of Hospital Peer Review for guidance on reorganizing after the emergency and gathering the information needed to demonstrate compliance. Additionally, the January 2021 issue of Hospital Peer Review includes further education — an article about how conducting mock surveys can help leaders uncover deficiencies that can be corrected well before an official site visit.

For more Relias Media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here.