TJC will be looking for requirements that are now obsolete or unnecessary, President and CEO Jonathan Perlin said, and will “eliminate standards and elements performance that don’t add commensurate value,” noting “that’s where the cost is, that’s where the burnout is.”
The Joint Commission (TJC) is still catching up on the surveys backlogged during the COVID-19 pandemic—but they are catching up. Be aware that you might soon be getting a notice that your survey is scheduled, although you still won’t be told an exact date because CMS requires the visits to be unannounced.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a revised guidance that will provide waivers to allow nursing homes to continue certifying TNAs beyond the deadline to keep staffing at safer levels. In the early days of the COVID-10 pandemic, CMS enacted several temporary public health emergency blanket waivers intended to provide healthcare providers needed flexibility to respond to the pandemic.
Much like the TJC’s other websites offering links to resources, the site breaks out the information into federal and TJC compendiums, that in turn offer different levels of work tools on healthcare worker care and safety. For instance, the resource links to TJC’s own workplace violence website, as well as federal healthcare staff-related resources from OSHA, the CDC and NIOSH.
These measures, which have been posted on the CMS website for more than a decade, are used to calculate each nursing home’s star rating for the staffing section of the Nursing Home Five-Star Quality Rating System.
The proposal imperils a service that had become popular during the pandemic, when health systems shifted in-person care to virtual channels to cut down on hospital traffic and reduce the spread of the virus. Thanks to federal and state waivers tied to the pandemic, healthcare providers were allowed to connect with patients on a telephone or other non-video platform for some healthcare services and be reimbursed for those services.
The reminder comes more than two weeks after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion nationwide. The memo also includes a note that hospitals and physicians may face civil financial penalty for denying patients emergency care.
The long-awaited updates were among the many new requirements from its 2019 final rule burden reduction as well as other rules on discharge planning published just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Quality, Safety and Oversight Group memo, QSO-22-19-NH, outlines the updates, which are part of a White House effort announced earlier this year to improve safety and quality of care in nursing homes. The APIC alert also notes that CMS has online training for surveyors and nursing home stakeholders on CMS’ Quality, Safety, and Education Portal (QSEP).
Now that hospitals and other healthcare providers have had time to meet the CMS staff COVID-19 vaccination requirements, CMS is easing up on verification, according to a Quality, Safety and Oversight group memo posted Tuesday afternoon.