How do we prepare for the new survey process?

The new SNF survey process begins November 28, 2017, and will combine pieces of the traditional survey and some from the quality indicator survey.  For those states now using the QIS, the adjustment to the new process might be easier.  

It will be a bit less structured than the QIS process but in return, less objective. The new process will put more decision-making in the surveyor’s hands. 

For those who have remained in the traditional survey process, this new process will be quite a change. It will be computer-based and depends somewhat on data submitted through the MDS process. 

That will include quality indicators as well as specific MDS sections. You will, however, be going back to the use of the resident roster process with CMS 802 having to be completed for all residents admitted within the last 30 days.

Surveys also will incorporate the new Requirements of Participation and F-tags.

The sample size for surveys will be dependent on the facility census, with about 20% sampled and a maximum of 35 residents. 

Residents will be interviewed, observed and have limited record review. It is expected that the first eight hours of the surveyor’s time on-site will be spent on this part. 

Investigation of problem areas will include usage of critical element pathways. 

The bottom line is this process will be a bit difficult to start. 

Read as much as you can, attend educational programs offered by your state association and use the QIS tools. They should be able to help you understand areas you need to enhance within your facility. They can be found at