CMS Home Health Surveys – Report On Re-Certification

Home Health Survey CertificationOn may 14, 2013, CMS released a report based on a study of state re-certification of Medicare certified home health agencies. The study was based on CMS data for Federal fiscal years 2010 and 2011 and identified the extent to which State agencies and accreditation organizations conducted timely re-certification surveys. The survey also analyzed the extent to which home health agencies received deficiency citations, corrected deficiencies, or had complaints lodged against them. The analysis also looked at CMS use of its “look behind” authority to assess the performance of accreditation organizations and State agencies.

The CMS home health survey report found that State agencies and accreditation organizations conducted re-certification surveys for nearly all HHAs within the required 36-month time-frame  Approximately 12 percent of HHAs were cited with “condition” level deficiencies as a result of these surveys. Ninety-three percent of these HHAs corrected their condition-level deficiencies within the required 90-day time-frame. With few exceptions, HHAs corrected all condition-level deficiencies cited during complaint surveys.

State agencies exceeded the required number of look-behind surveys for oversight of accreditation organizations. CMS rarely conducted look-behind surveys for oversight of State agencies’ surveys of HHAs; such look-behind surveys are not required by Federal regulation.

The CMS report of home health surveys concluded with recommendation that CMS analyze survey data to determine whether it should routinely conduct look-behind surveys for oversight of State agencies As a result of this survey and report, CMS has stated that it will be working with its regional offices to identify State agencies with the greatest need for look-behind surveys.

You can access the CMS Home Health Survey Report at the following link:  Home Health Survey Report

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