AHA urges CMS to reinstate survey pause if COVID-19 cases surge

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The American Hospital Association urged CMS in an April 19 letter to allow additional suspensions on hospital surveys in case COVID-19 cases surge.

CMS suspended most on-site hospital survey activity Jan. 20 to allow healthcare providers to focus on their pandemic response during the winter spike in infections and hospitalizations. On March 26, the agency said it was lifting the suspension and expected survey activity to resume as normal. 

In the AHA's recent letter, the association is calling for continued hospital survey flexibility given the rise in COVID-19 cases many states are now experiencing. 

"While we value the survey process and appreciate the importance of its immediate resumption, we urge CMS to remain flexible in its approach, as additional spikes in cases may require the localized or provider-specific suspension of surveys," the letter said. "If another surge occurs — whether locally, regionally or nationally — CMS should, either proactively or by notification from a specific hospital or health system, suspend survey activities for that particular location, allowing providers to focus on responding to the needs of their community with the intention of fulfilling their survey obligations once the surge in cases becomes more manageable." 

To read the full letter, click here.

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