The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced an enforcement memorandum for a short-term increase in highly focused inspections directed at hospitals and skilled nursing care facilities that treat or handle COVID-19 patients.
Surveyors with TJC are looking at vaccination rates and will score a hospital if it is not 100% compliant in the states where the newest Conditions of Participation (CoPs) outlining vaccination expectations are already effective.
CMS published a warning to states that if they are contracted with the federal agency to carry out health and safety surveys that failure to carry out their responsibilities, including enforcing the new vaccine requirement, will result in a reduction of federal funds to the state’s survey offices.
The new advisory provides Joint Commission requirements and national recommendations to identify and help patients who have experienced intimate partner violence, which is “behavior by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual, or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse, and controlling behaviors,” according to the World Health Organization.
Surveyors will not implement or enforce the vaccination requirements issued under an interim final rule November 5 in the 25 states that have won an injunction to stop the mandate while the Biden-Harris administration rule winds its way through the courts.
In a report to Congress released late Wednesday, CMS said it will continue putting pressure on AOs to do a better job of enforcing Medicare’s Conditions of Participation but is also fine-tuning the process of how it validates their performance. Concerns remained concentrated on AOs failures to find problems within the physical environment that were spotted by CMS’s state survey agencies during surveys to validate the AOs findings. Validation surveys are supposed to be conducted within 60 days of an AO’s triennial visit.
While the memo has many of the same sections on contracted staff, emergency services and identification of shared spaces, much of the more prescriptive sections are either shortened or deleted. That includes guidance for surveyors to ask for floor plans to evaluate how patients are transported from one space to another and examples of when the use of floating nurses are in violation of CoP requirements.
Joint Commission surveyors can cite decorations under five—that’s right, five—different Life Safety standards, including two standards related to hospital areas designated ambulatory healthcare occupancies, outpatient clinics, or areas within a leased building where the hospital offers accredited services.
Perlin currently is the president and clinical operations and chief medical officer at HCA Healthcare, which is based in Nashville. He replaces Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, who has led the commission for 14 years. Chassin has said he wants to pursue other opportunities in the quality improvement field.
CMS issued a Quality, Safety & Oversight Group (QSO) memo Friday September 17 on “Reinforcement of EMTALA Obligations specific to Patients who are Pregnant or are Experiencing Pregnancy Loss.” The memo, QSO-21-22-Hospitals, not only reminded hospitals to “ensure all staff who may come into contact with a patient seeking emergency care are aware of the hospital’s obligation under EMTALA,” but had an express message for clinicians.