CMS on Monday announced it will resume routine inspections of all Medicare and Medicaid suppliers and providers.
Inspections were put on hold March 23 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic so it could focus on infection control and help prevent the spread of the virus.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the agency has worked closely with states to complete infection control surveys at most of the nursing homes in the country in the past few months. Since March 4, CMS and state inspectors performed 15,158 surveys in nursing homes, a 95% completion rate.
"These surveys fortified healthcare facilities around the country to prepare for and implement actions to prevent transmission of the virus and provided indispensable insight into the situation on the ground," Verma said in a statement.
The agency has fined nursing homes $15 million for not complying with infection control requirements and for not reporting COVID-19 data.
On Monday, CMS directed states to resume onsite revisit surveys, non-immediate jeopardy complaint surveys and annual recertification surveys once resources are available.
CMS also is updating guidance for the re-prioritization of routine state survey agency activities on Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments so they can resume their duties depending on COVID-19 infections in the area.
Nationwide, the number of new COVID-19 cases in nursing homes at the end of July exceeded the pandemic's May peak, according to an analysis of CMS nursing home data by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. According to the most recent CMS data available, there were 7,950 new COVID-19 cases in nursing homes on a weekly basis, as of Aug. 2.