The Trump administration is intensifying its scrutiny of nursing homes and their infection control efforts amid the coronavirus outbreak, zeroing in on cases where elderly patients are in “immediate jeopardy.”
Cases of immediate jeopardy mean situations exist in which a nursing home not in compliance with government guidelines have placed the health and safety of a patient in its care at “risk for serious injury, harm or impairment, or death,” the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says.
“We are only going to be doing surveys around immediate jeopardy,” Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) told healthcare reporters Tuesday evening in a briefing to discuss the agency’s actions for the Coronavirus strain COVID-19.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 05: Administrator for the Centers of Medicare & Medicade Services, … [+]
CMS has been working in recent weeks to direct more of the inspections by state agencies and accrediting bodies around infection control, focusing in particular in the Seattle area, California and New York where the number of coronavirus cases has spiked. “That’s where we are focused,” Verma told reporters.
Two weeks ago, CMS suspended “non-emergency survey inspections” so inspectors could focus “on the most current serious health and safety threats, like infectious diseases and abuse.”
The effort is part of an effort to hold nursing homes accountable, particular given the U.S. public health crisis of the spreading coronavirus.