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CMS Revises Guidance on Immediate Jeopardy and Creates New Surveyor Tools - Health Care and Life Sciences News

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Health Care and Life Sciences News


Posted on: Aug 28, 2019

By Erika Steuerwald, Indiana State Department of Health

In March 2019, CMS revised its guidance for surveyors related to identifying immediate jeopardy cases.

Immediate jeopardy "is a situation in which a recipient of care has suffered or is likely to suffer serious injury, harm, impairment or death as a result of a provider's, supplier's or laboratory's noncompliance with one or more health and safety requirement," according to CMS. The citation carries serious sanctions for the cited healthcare organization.

Per the revision, surveyors must determine that noncompliance created the likelihood that a patient would undergo serious harm or even death and that immediate action is necessary to prevent patient harm.

The previous version of the guidance noted that "potential" for serious harm could constitute an immediate jeopardy case, but now the immediate jeopardy citation in cases where serious harm has not occurred, surveyors must note "the nature and/or extent of the identified noncompliance" that creates a likelihood such harm will occur.

Other changes include:

  • Removing culpability as a required component to cite immediate jeopardy. 
  • Considering whether noncompliance has caused or increased likelihood of serious mental or psychosocial harm 
  • Removing automatic immediate jeopardy citations

Additionally, CMS developed a template to help surveyors document the information needed to cite immediate jeopardy cases.

CMS also created a basic training course online for the new guidance. Click here to learn more.

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