Congress Voices Concern Over CMS Oversight of AOs

If you thought The Joint Commission and other accrediting organizations (AO) were already under the proverbial gun from CMS, get ready: The House Energy and Commerce committee is launching an investigation into hospital patient safety.

In a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, the committee is asking for what could be reams of information from the agency about patient harm and incidents of misconduct at acute care hospitals.

Noting that the Department of Health and Human Services, through CMS, must provide oversight of accrediting organizations, including CMS’ own survey agencies, “the Committee is concerned about the adequacy of CMS’ oversight as well as the rigor of the AO survey process,” said the letter to Verma.

The letter is signed by committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) as well as Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), chairman of the subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and Rep. Michael C. Burgess, MD (R-TX), chairman of the subcommittee on Health.