WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 8, 2021)—The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Quality, Safety and Oversight (QSO) group recently released a memo revising the COVID-19 Focused Infection Control Survey for Acute and Continuing Care, the focused survey tool that surveyors would use for hospice and home health agency providers for any type of survey currently being conducted, except a complaint survey where the complaint allegation is not related to infection control.
The revisions were made to reflect COVID-19 guidance updates, provide clarifications to existing information, and update the appropriate CMS regulatory tag considerations if a citation is warranted. The revised tool is found at the end of the memo (linked above) and is effective immediately. The relevant revisions for providers are hand hygiene and use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Also in this memo, QSO clarified guidance for screening of individuals entering a health care facility which would include hospice inpatient units. Specifically, facilities should have a screening process to assess for signs/symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and for exposure to others with known or suspected COVID-19. The CDC recommends options for screening symptoms that include but are not limited to: screening questions with an assessment of illness, self-monitored pre-arrival temperature checks with reported absence of fever and symptoms, and facility-monitored temperature checks upon arrival.