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Healthcare Life Safety Compliance: Addressing common misconceptions regarding waivers and equivalencies

Hospital Safety Insider, October 6, 2016

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There has been much confusion and differing of opinions regarding the process to submit waiver and equivalency requests, and once they have been approved, how long they are valid. CMS recently implemented new procedures that resulted in changes on how the accreditation organizations processed waiver and equivalency requests.

Up until a couple of years ago, CMS always said that approved waivers are only valid for one year. After the one-year cycle, the federal agency wanted hospitals to resubmit their waiver request for another one-year cycle. When Det Norske Veritas (DNV) came on the scene in 2008 or so, CMS said immediately straight out-of-the-box that DNV cannot approve waivers or equivalencies. DNV would be required to send them to the appropriate CMS Regional Office for approval. DNV was fine with that because it wanted deeming authority, so the organization complied. Oddly enough, CMS did not inform Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) or The Joint Commission of the same policy at that time.

Read more here.



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