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Facts About Home Health Surveys
Home health agencies certified for Medicare and/or Medicaid must meet certain regulations,
which are the same for every agency across the U.S. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (CMS) formerly the Health Care Financing Administration is the federal government's
designee for licensing and certification oversight. CMS contracts with state governments to
perform inspections and licensing of home health. Typically, the state agency that is charged
with this responsibility is the health department or department of human services. A licensing
inspection, most widely known as a survey, usually lasts three to five days and is conducted by a
team of inspectors, including at least one registered nurse. The following facts briefly describe
home health surveys:
Surveys occur once every 36 months.
Surveys are unannounced.
Surveys are a snapshot in time and may or may not represent the daily operations of the
There are over 150 possible regulations that translate into a deficiency if the regulation is not
Each deficiency is ranked as a condition or standard.
Citations that are a condition may give cause for de-certification from Medicare (i.e., loss of
A home health survey is public information and you may ask to see it.
Investigation of complaint allegations may trigger a survey.