Transplant centers with questions concerning the approval requests, timelines for the regulation, the information that must be submitted with the approval request, or the survey and certification
process, should direct their inquiries to Sherry Clark in the CMS Survey and Certification
Group - (410) 786-8476.
According to the DHHS Office of Inspector General's March 2003 report "Nursing Home Deficiency Trends and Survey and Certification
Process Consistency," facilities with resident assessment deficiencies increased by 11.6% during a recent four-year period.
LTCQ Inc., an independent long term care information services company, analyzed the latest JCAHO accreditation files and merged them with HCFA public-use survey and certification
data from surveys done between January 1998 and December 2000.
According to Rick James, chief of the Survey and Certification Branch in HCFA's Atlanta regional office, there have been many improvements to the survey and certification program.
"The survey and certification program, and the regulations that set out minimum standards for health and safety are just that--they're standards for health and safety.
Providers probably won't be surprised by the inconsistencies among state survey systems highlighted in a DHHS GIG report describing trends in nursing home deficiencies and assessing the consistency of the Medicare survey and certification
Proposals to HCFA to make survey modifications generally haven't received a positive reception; the reason given is that HCFA doesn't have the authority to approve waivers for Medicare survey and certification
Follow-Up on Survey and Certification
. This study will follow up on two OIG reports in March 1999 on state survey and certification
, and trends in deficiency data.
The Office of the Inspector General and HCFA will work together to provide training to federal survey and certification
personnel on how to correctly make such referrals.
"As for our own funding, we are budgeted to a 'T.' In fact, we have a problem in that HCFA has taken money out of non-long-term care survey and certification
programs to fund the long-term care part.
The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) has finally released its long-awaited report to Congress on private accreditation (deeming) of nursing homes, regulatory and nonregulatory quality improvement incentives and the effectiveness of the survey and certification
This was not quite how the situation was seen by Anthony Tirone, Director of HCFA's Office of Survey and Certification
. Rather than envisioning a long-term process leading to an idealized result, Tirone said that now that his survey teams have the final guidelines, that all states have HCFA-approved Resident Assessment Instruments, and that therefore "the tools are in place to do the surveys; we expect (nursing home) operators to meet those survey requirements." "