CMS requests survey buildup

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is asking for $49 million more in its next budget, largely to expand long-term care inspection programs.

The 2015 CMS budget request amounts to $424.4 million for survey and certification activities, a 13% increase over fiscal 2014.

Officials say more funding is needed to pursue “improved CMS standards” and also service more providers.

CMS has expanded its role recently in “addressing issues of national importance” such as the rates of antipsychotic medication prescribing and pressure ulcers in nursing homes, according to the budget proposal. 

The document emphasized that CMS will continue to seek ways to cut costs and increase efficiency.For example, the agency will weigh nursing homes' sprinkler status and compliance history to determine how much on-site survey time needs to be spent evaluating life safety code compliance.

The 364-page budget serves as the administration's wish list, a formula for Congress to consider when it creates and negotiates appropriations bills. 


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