Revisit Surveys To Slow Down Due To Budget Sequestration

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As of April 5, 2013 and in response to budget sequestration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) warns that revisit surveys for skilled nursing facilities will be delayed and approval requirements for subsequent revisit surveys will be more stringent.

For any skilled nursing facility found by a State survey agency to be out of substantial compliance with certification requirements for participation in Medicare and/or Medicaid, the State survey agency must conduct a revisit survey to determine if the facility has achieved substantial compliance to continue its certification. The State survey agency may conduct such a revisit survey at any time after the last completion date of a facility's Plan of Correction, and may conduct second or third revisits, as needed, to confirm substantial compliance. Previously, the State survey agency could perform a second revisit survey upon its own initiative, but needed approval from a CMS Regional Office to conduct a third revisit. Now, a State survey agency must obtain approval from the CMS Regional Office before conducting a second revisit, and approval from the CMS Central Office before a third or fourth revisit. Additionally, CMS cautions that extended wait times may occur in between revisits.

During the time of this sequestration and slower revisit protocol, skilled nursing facilities out of substantial compliance will likely incur higher remedies from CMS, such as greater Civil Money Penalties or longer duration for Denial of Payments for New Admission, due to delays for additional revisits. It is more imperative than ever that facilities correct certification deficiencies timely and completely to achieve substantial compliance upon a first revisit.

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