As the government shutdown drags on, some CMS activities are grinding to a halt. CMS recently released a memo to State Survey Agency Directors regarding which CMS survey and certification activities will continue and which ones have been put on hold for providers of all types. According to the memo, complaints that are triaged as credible threats of immediate jeopardy or harm will continue to be investigated. Additionally, revisit surveys will only be conducted as approved and as needed to prevent termination of a provider or supplier. Otherwise, no regular surveys or re-visits will be conducted for Medicare certified facilities while the government is shut down. This includes revisits for facilities on per-day civil money penalties and denial of payment for new admissions. All informal dispute resolution processes are placed on hold as well. The provisions relevant to hospitals include canceling initial surveys or initial certification via deemed status. Providers not affected by the shutdown are surveys of clinical laboratory improvement amendments, background checks and CMS vendor contracts awarded prior to October 1, 2013. However, Husch Blackwell attorneys are aware of several ZPIC audits that were cancelled because of the shutdown.

Our Insight. Your Advantage. If and when the government begins to function again, there will be a backlog of issues for the regulatory agencies. Our Husch Blackwell regulatory attorneys have a long history or good relations with many states’ regulatory agencies. This relationship allows us to advocate on behalf of our clients for agency priority when further delay will impact a provider substantially, such as continued per-day civil money penalties or denial of payments for new Medicare and Medicaid admission.

Click here to read the entire CMS memo.