On September 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its fifth cumulative report on focused infection control surveys in nursing facilities. Like previous reports, the fifth report shows that comparatively few facilities are cited with deficiencies and that most deficiencies are called “no harm.”
On August 14, 2020, CMS reported that it had cited more than 180 facilities with immediate jeopardy infection control deficiencies (triple the rate in 2019) and imposed civil money penalties of nearly $10 million, averaging $55,000 for each facility. As reported by the Center, CMS told residents’ advocates in an August 19 call that information about these surveys, to date, was reported only on an internal CMS database. All the survey reports identified by CMS nearly two months ago have still not been publicly reported. As described below, publicly reported infection control data, released by CMS on September 30 (and covering the period through August 31), continue to show many fewer immediate jeopardy infection control deficiencies than CMS reports having cited in mid-August – 75, compared to 180.
News reports continue to indicate that more deficiencies have been cited and more penalties have been imposed than CMS publicly reports. For example, ABC News reported that since March 1, 2020, New York State has cited infection control deficiencies at 62 nursing facilities, about one in ten facilities in the state, and determined that six violations placed residents in immediate jeopardy. ABC News also reported that the state imposed fines totaling $328,000 at 23 facilities for infection control deficiencies. The largest fine, $50,000, was imposed at Humboldt House Rehab and Nursing Center in Buffalo, where residents with and without COVID-19 were commingled.
CMS’s September 30 Cumulative Data Release
On September 30, 2020, CMS made public the fifth cumulative release of 32,681 targeted infection control surveys, covering the period March 4 through August 31. The surveys cited 777 infection prevention and control deficiencies in 742 facilities (711 facilities were cited with one deficiency, 27 facilities were cited with two deficiencies, and four facilities were cited with three deficiencies).
Of the 777 infection control deficiencies, 75 deficiencies (9.7%) were cited at the immediate jeopardy level. Although all five releases of infection control surveys and deficiencies show that less than 3% of focused infection control surveys cited deficiencies, an increasing percentage of these deficiencies has been classified as immediate jeopardy.
|Date of CMS release||Number of surveys||Number (%) of infection control deficiencies cited||Number (%) of infection control deficiencies classified as immediate jeopardy|
|June 4||5,724||163 (2.8%)||1 (1.0%)|
|June 24||9,899||262 (2.6%)||4 (1.5%)|
|July 29||16,987||347 (2.0%)||22 (6.6%)|
|August 26||25,593||556 (2.2%)||48 (8.6%)|
|September 30||32,681||777 (2.4%)||75 (9.7%)|
However, “no harm” deficiencies (levels D, E, and F) have been predominant in all four cumulative releases of infection control surveys.
To read the full report, please go to: https://medicareadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Special-Report-5th-Cumulative-Infection-Control-Surveys-PDF-00436350xC6348.pdf
 CMS, “Trump Administration Has Issued More Than $15 Million in Fines to Nursing Homes During COVID-19 Pandemic” (Press Release, Aug. 14, 2020), https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/trump-administration-has-issued-more-15-million-fines-nursing-homes-during-covid-19-pandemic.
 CMA, “Responding to CMS Announcement on Nursing Home Enforcement – Infection Control Deficiencies in Nursing Facilities: QCOR Data” (CMA Alert, Aug. 20, 2020), https://medicareadvocacy.org/responding-to-cms-announcement-on-nursing-home-enforcement-infection-control-deficiencies-in-nursing-facilities-qcor-data/.
 Marina Villeneuve, Associated Press, “Inspections found nursing home lapses as COVID-19 raged,” ABC News (Sep. 24, 2020), https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/inspections-found-nursing-home-lapses-covid-19-raged-73223780.