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Hospital Inspections to Resume In Full

Doug Desjardins, October 18, 2013

The effects of the government shutdown will be felt for weeks as state and federal officials play catch-up on hospital inspections, re-certifications, and other routine work.

With a temporary federal budget deal Wednesday finally ending the 16-day government shutdown, state and federal officials have some catching up to do to make up for time lost.

At the state level, some health departments will be dealing with a backlog of federal inspections postponed during the shutdown. Some hospital and nursing home inspections by officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and state officials who conduct inspections for CMS could not be conducted.

During the shutdown, state officials were limited to pursuing only what CMS described as "complaints that are triaged as credible allegations of immediate jeopardy or harm to an individual" and that those cases "should continue to be assessed and investigated according to CMS protocols."

State agencies were also allowed to revisit a hospital or other facility if the revisit was required to prevent a facility from shutting down and creating a situation "that is likely to threaten the safety of human life, such as creating access-to-care or other serious, immediate, and negative consequences to beneficiaries."

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