In a guidance document reiterating states’ obligation to conduct surveys of Medicare and Medicaid providers, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), for the first time, directly suggests that complaints about quality of care may be made directly to “locations” (formerly known as Regional Offices) if states are not conducting surveys. CMS writes:
Individuals with a quality of care complaint related to a Medicare or Medicaid health and safety regulation that the state is not surveying for may contact the CMS location, directly, at the email below [bold font in original]:
- ROATLHSQ@cms.hhs.gov: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
- RODALDSC@cms.hhs.gov: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
- ROPHIDSC@cms.hhs.gov: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
- ROCHISC@cms.hhs.gov: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin
- ROkcmSCB@cms.hhs.gov: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
- DenverLTC@cms.hhs.gov: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming
- ROSFOSO@cms.hhs.gov: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Territories
See: CMS, “State Obligations to Survey to the Entirety of Medicare and Medicaid Health and Safety Requirements under the 1864 Agreement,” QSO-22-12-ALL (Feb. 9, 2022), https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-22-12-all.pdf
While advocates have previously recommended that people contact CMS, the agency itself has never before told people to go to Regional Offices (now “locations”) to file complaints when state action is inadequate. Hopefully this new recommendation will signal a renewed interest in Enforcement.