Medicare surveyors?


I am a fairly new nurse graduated 2008. Have worked on a med/surg floor and a medical floor at a local VA. I have been a HH case manager for 3months now. My small agency has not had a survey yet this year, they did have a audit. I am very nervous about going out with a surveyor. I only had 1 week following a nurse during orientation and have been on my own since. I am one of two full time and we have two part time RN case managers. We do not use computers, I see 6-8pts a day.

Any advise on how to prepare and what to expect when with a surveyor?

annaedRN, RN

519 Posts

Specializes in LTC/hospital, home health (VNA). Has 10 years experience.

Just think nursing school...haha! Really, just keep in mind your standard precautions and infection control techniques. Make sure that your care plans are correct and updated. I did a huge wound packing (think dinner plate size...whole Kerlix big) and had not one problem reported back. They ask questions mostly to the patient - how care has been, how often we come, are they kept informed of care plan or part of the process, who MD is, etc. They look at the whole picture...not scrutinize each little move we make to the extent JCAHO does. Thye really spend more time looking in charts from my experience. She only went on 2 nurse visits, 1 aide visit, 2 therapy visits. It was really was not that bad. You'll do fine. Thankfully ours was earlier this year so we are good for a while!! Good luck!


68 Posts

Hi 2KM, RN

Medicare surveyors make sure that you are following the conditions of participation (COPs). You agency's policies should fall in line with COPs. Make sure that there is a current med sheet in the home. Really make sure that the patient and family understand the procedure for filing a complaint about care, ie. notify the supervisor, agency administrator and finally the state home health hotline. Circle the state homehealth hotline number. Make sure you have signs posted if there is O2 and remember handwashing and bag techniques.

M-care surveyors want to make sure that you are doing what the government is paying for and that you are seeing patients who are qualified for home care and that the patients are being seen as stated on the 485.

They talk to the patient to get the real deal on what is going on with their care.


38,333 Posts

I was informed that I should be ready for a visit on my shift one time. I stressed over the matter and then it didn't happen.


115 Posts

It seems like every time the surveyors come to my agency, I have to go out with one for a visit. The above comments are correct. Make sure you use good bag technique, wash your hands, do exactly what is on your 485, and make sure your med sheet, and home folder are updated. We did have a surveyor check our trunk supplies too. If so, make sure you have a "clean" and "dirty" area and your supplies are not expired (lab tubes, foley's etc)


198 Posts

How often do surveyors come to an agency? And do they come to each office of an agency?