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Seven Ways to Prepare for the Return of Dementia Care Surveys

By Jessica Kunkler, MA, Staff Writer - January 23, 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that Dementia Care Surveys, which were piloted in 2014–2015, will be back in FY 2019. “In a way it’s surprising because the new survey process was launched so recently (in fall 2017), but in another way it’s not,” observes Brenda Sowash, Director of Clinical Assessments, Standards and Practices for Trinity Health Senior Communities. “CMS has a history of launching and then expanding pilot programs if a care issue is identified in the original program, in order to evaluate how pervasive that particular care issue is. During the pilot for the Dementia Care Survey CMS found that in some facilities, medication was used inappropriately for residents with a dementia diagnosis. Therefore, a major focus area for CMS is reducing unnecessary medications in skilled nursing facilities.”