CMS Revises Immediate Jeopardy Guidance for Surveyors (July 2019)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an updated QSO memo, “Revisions to Appendix Q, Guidance on Immediate Jeopardy” on July 31, 2019. The original QSO memo, dated March 5, 2019, has been revised to include guidance to surveyors related to referring criminal acts to law enforcement.

In a “CMS: Beyond the Policy” podcast posted yesterday, Dr. Kate Goodrich, Chief Medical Officer at CMS, stated, “when a State Survey Agency discovers a dangerous issue, they will have much clearer procedures on how to identify that for the public, report it to CMS, so that appropriate enforcement actions can take place.”

Dr. Goodrich was alluding to the updated QSO memo, which now includes the following language:

When the identified noncompliance is determined to have been caused by, or has led to a criminal act, reporting must be made to local law enforcement. If the entity refuses to report, or the surveyor cannot verify that a report was made to local law enforcement, the surveyor must consult with his/her supervisor immediately, and the State Agency must report the potential criminal incident to law enforcement immediately. View CMS QSO Memo (Ref: QSO-19-09-ALL) here. Appendix Q remains largely as it was published in March with the exception of the new language regarding law enforcement reporting requirements.

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