No Vaccination Required for CMS/Joint Commission Surveyors to Enter Facilities

Posted on March 26, 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently updated the QSO-20-39-NH memorandum originally issued Sept. 17, 2020, relating to many facets of nursing home visitation. Included on pages 7 and 8 of the memorandum is guidance relating to visits from federal and state surveyors. The updated information indicates that these surveyors are not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and must be permitted entry into facilities unless they exhibit signs or symptoms of the disease. Surveyors should adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention described on page 2 of the memorandum, as well as any COVID-19 infection prevention requirements set by state law.  

While the memorandum specifically pertains to nursing homes, the CMS has stated that its guidance on survey visits pertains to all providers and suppliers. The Joint Commission has taken the same position relative to its surveyors and reviewers for nursing homes, hospitals and other accredited facilities.

Other survey requirements for Medicare and Medicaid providers remain unchanged. They include the CMS’ authority to terminate the Medicare and/or Medicaid provider agreement of any provider that fails to grant immediate access to records upon a reasonable request to a state survey agency or other authorized entity for the purpose of determining whether the provider or supplier meets applicable requirements and conditions. Questions about the memorandum and related surveys should be directed to the CMS. Contact The Joint Commission for more information about its surveys.

Tags: vaccine, Joint Commission, CMS, COVID-19

Posted in: Member News

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