Infection Control & COVID-19 Focused Surveys

07/01/2020 Written by: Peggy Morrison

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS has established a COVID-19 Focused Survey for Nursing Homes with the expectation that all nursing homes are inspected to ensure appropriate infection control practices are in place to prevent the spread and transmission of COVID-19. According to Quality Certification & Oversight Reports (QCOR) 10,414 (67.5%) nursing homes have been inspected nationwide from March 1, 2020, through June 12, 2020.In June, CMS produced a report identifying survey findings per skilled nursing facility in the nation. A review of the Nursing Home Surveys and Deficiencies file, found here under the Spotlight section, provides detailed data for surveys that occurred from March 4, 2020, through April 29, 2020. This data reveals that:

  • A total of 5,744 centers were surveyed
  • Over 160 centers received a F880 Infection Prevention and Control Program citation
    • The majority of citations (49) were cited at a scope and severity level of D with minimal harm or potential for actual harm affecting few residents
    • A total of 36 centers were cited at a scope and severity level of E with minimal harm or potential for actual harm affecting some residents
    • One center was cited at a scope and severity level of H with actual harm affecting some residents
    • One center was cited at an immediate jeopardy level with a scope of severity of L affecting many residents

Nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities can prepare for a COVID-19 Focused Survey by: 

  • Conducting a focused review of critical elements associated with transmission of COVID-19
  •  Conducting a self-assessment of current practices in order to identify gaps in existing practices. It is recommended that a self-assessment be conducted annually to ensure that center-specific infection control practices meet professional infection control standards. To assist nursing homes in evaluating their current infection control practices CMS, in partnership with the CDC, has developed the 2019 Nursing Home Infection Control Worksheet

Being prepared for the infection control survey will assist in ensuring that the survey process goes smoothly. Establishing a COVID-19 Focused Survey Readiness binder will assist you in preparing the required information prior to surveyor arrival. The binder can be organized to correspond to the COVID-19 Focused Survey Entrance Conference Sheet and may make retrieval of information user-friendly. 
AssuredPartners has compiled a variety of resources related to COVID-19.  Click here to visit the resource center or reach out to the AssuredPartners Senior Living team for more information. AP Senior Living clients may also access additional resources in the risk management center.

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