CMS outlined changes to the nursing home survey process in a October 2017 memo to state survey agency directors, which scaled down the use and severity of civil monetary penalties (CMPs) for certain nursing home deficiencies. Shortly thereafter, CMS released a November 2017 memo that among other things, outlined an 18-month moratorium on the imposition of CMPs, discretionary denials of payment for new admissions and discretionary termination by surveyors for survey deficiencies identified by the following eight “F” tags:

  • F655 (Baseline Care Plan)
  • F740 (Behavioral Health Services)
  • F741 (Sufficient/Competent Direct Care/Access Staff-Behavioral Health)
  • F758 (Psychotropic Medications) related to PRN Limitations
  • F838 (Facility Assessment)
  • F881 (Antibiotic Stewardship Program)
  • F865 (QAPI Program and Plan) related to the development of the QAPI Plan
  • F926 (Smoking Policies)

These changes are in line with the Trump administration’s general approach of reducing regulation. Whether 2018 will be marked by further scaling back of penalties for deficiencies in the nursing home arena remains to be seen. In the meantime, nursing homes are likely to welcome CMS’ recent actions.