Opioids Could Be a Target in the New Survey Process

By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - November 01, 2017

“In the initial draft of the new requirements of participation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) included some requirements that were very restrictive on the use of opioids. They dialed back those rules in the final regulation due to public comments about the potential impact on pain control,” notes Michelle Synakowski, LNHA, RN, C-NE, RAC-MT, director of quality systems and corporate compliance for Community Wellness Partners in Clinton, NY.

“However, I do think that CMS will incorporate a stronger review of opioids into the new survey process because they couldn’t put it into the regulation,” suggests Synakowski.

In the new survey process that goes into effect Nov. 28, opioids are considered in the selection process for the five-resident Unnecessary Medication Review, a survey task that surveyors will conduct in every facility, according to New Long-term Care Survey Process Slide Deck.

“In addition, state surveyors also probably will choose some residents who have opioids for the purpose of looking at pain management,” points out Synakowski.