CMS Releases Revised Memo on COVID-19 Focused Infection Control Survey Tool for Acute and Continuing Care Provider and Suppliers

​​The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a revised memo applying to all ICFs/IID providers titled, COVID-19 Focused Infection Control Survey Tool for Acute and Continuing Care Providers and Suppliers (QSO-21-08-NLTC REVISED).   

Key takeaways from the revised memo include: 

  • COVID-19 Focused Infection Control Survey Tool: CMS developed the focused infection control (FIC) survey and tool at the beginning of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) to help surveyors and facilities absorb the critical infection prevention and control practices for combating COVID-19. Based on stakeholder feedback and survey activity, CMS believes acute and continuing care (ACC) facilities have incorporated COVID-19 management strategies into their infrastructure and operations, and there is no longer a need to continue the required use of the special FIC survey and tool on a national basis. Surveyors will continue to evaluate infection prevention and control elements related to COVID-19 through the existing survey process, while incorporating lessons learned about infection control oversight during the PHE. State Survey Agencies & Accrediting Organizations may continue to use the targeted FIC survey, on a case-by-case basis, if warranted. 

  • Visitation Restrictions: CMS recognizes that requirements for entering health care facilities, such as visitation restrictions, were used to mitigate the introduction ofCOVID-19 into facilities. At this time, continued federal guidance regarding visitation restrictions for ACC facilities is no longer necessary. Facilities should continue to adhere to basic COVID-19 infection prevention principles consistent with national standards of practice. ​​