Hospital Inspections to Resume In Full
Surveys and certifications that were prohibited during the shutdown included visits for initial Medicare certifications and investigation of complaints that did not put patients or facilities in immediate jeopardy or harm.
Before the shutdown went into effect, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created a contingency plan for CMS under which it was authorized to "incur obligations up to an aggregate $8.6 million in Medicare funds covering initial S&C [survey and certification] activities up to the first 3 or 4 weeks of the fiscal year" with specific funding levels appropriated to each state.
In Texas, a spokesperson for the Texas State Department of Health said the department had to delay only a handful of planned inspections during the first two weeks of October. "We were just beginning to plan our federal workload for the next few months when the furlough occurred," said Christine Mann. "So we had only four or five hospital re-certifications planned that we had to put on hold." Mann said the department will reschedule those inspections.
In Florida, the state Agency for Health Care Administration said it didn't have to postpone or delay any federal inspections. "There are no surveys overdue for recertification," said Shelisha Coleman, press secretary for the AHCA.
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