CMS boosts oversight of hospitals with COVID-19 outbreaks

CMS is investigating hospitals in which a high number of patients likely contracted COVID-19 while seeking care, part of an effort to increase oversight since relaunching routine inspections last year, Politico reported May 26.

The agency is zeroing in on facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks and is also considering patients and healthcare workers' safety complaints, according to Jon Blum, CMS principal deputy administrator and COO. The strategy marks a shift from the agency's "less rigorous" approach early in the pandemic, he told Politico. 

"We are holding the [healthcare] system accountable," he said. "We do not see ourselves as simply putting out rules and hoping the healthcare system responds to those rules. We have really pivoted to a world where we are going to be surveying and holding facilities compliant."

Mr. Blum did not reveal how many hospitals the agency has cited for inadequate COVID-19 precautions. 

CMS won't publicly share hospitals' COVID-19 transmission rates but will publish staff vaccination rates this fall to help consumers determine a hospital's COVID-19 risk.


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