The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services made numerous bold moves in mid-March to give nursing homes and other providers relief in the battle against the novel coronavirus.
Among them: The agency suspended standard facility surveys for a three-week period starting near the end of March. Officials said they would conduct just three types of surveys until at least early April: complaint/facility-reported incident surveys involving Immediate Jeopardy; targeted infection control surveys; and self-assessments. All were to include heightened infection control scrutiny.
CMS also removed the three-day stay requirement for Medicare skilled nursing coverage during the outbreak. This allows the agency to provide temporary emergency coverage of SNF services — without a qualifying hospital stay — for people who need to be transferred as a result of COVID-19. It also authorizes the renewed SNF coverage without first having to start a new benefit period.