Revisions to Special Focus Facility (SFF) Program (Oct 2022)

CMS Quality Safety & Oversight Memorandum
PUBLISHED: October 21, 2022
CMS LISTING: Quality, Safety and Oversight Letter 23-01-NH

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QSO memorandum 23-01-NH – issued October 21, 2022  – beefed up the Special Focus Facility (SFF) program conducted by CMS.  The SFF program by statute requires CMS to identify the poorest quality of care facilities by state.

CMS shared new SFF methodology to seek to improve “graduation” of non-compliant facilities, as well as reduce the “yo-yo’ing” of facilities in and out of the SFF program.

Before, CMS maintained a list of candidates for the SFF program based on quality of care as reported through the Minimum Data Set (MDS).

With this memo, CMS indicates that staffing has an important relationship to quality, and therefore CMS recommends choosing SFF program candidates based on a lower staffing Five Star or staffing ratio.