MHCO Goes 3/3 with Deficiency-Free COVID-19 Surveys

On March 20th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a memorandum titled, “Prioritization of Survey Activities” in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  This memo instructed state Health Departments to suspend normal regulatory survey activity in skilled nursing facilities in lieu of new “COVID-19 Focused Surveys” that focused exclusively on infection control.  Specifically, these surveys focused on:

  • The overall effectiveness of the Infection Prevention and Control Program (IPCP) including IPCP policies and procedures
  • Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions
  • Quality of resident care practices, including those with COVID-19 (laboratory-positive case), if applicable
  • The surveillance plan
  • Visitor entry and facility screening practices
  • Education, monitoring, and screening practices of staff
  • Facility policies and procedures to address staffing issues during emergencies, such as transmission of COVID-19 and emergency staffing plans

This was done to ensure that all nursing facilities throughout the United States were following appropriate infection control guidelines in order to protect those most susceptible to the virus.  The full memorandum can be found at

Throughout the month of June, all three of Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio’s skilled nursing facilities – the Mennonite Memorial Home, Willow Ridge, and Hilty Home – underwent these COVID-19 Focused Surveys by the Ohio Department of Health.  (Campuses that are Assisted Living or Independent Living communities, such as Maple Crest, are not currently undergoing these focused surveys.) Written results of these surveys have been received by MHCO campuses, with all three indicating that “No deficiencies were cited.”

Leaders at the Mennonite Memorial Home, Willow Ridge and Hilty Home were pleased with the results of these surveys, giving credence to the hard work of many individuals during unprecedented times.  In recognition of the achievement, Acting COO Elizabeth Kelly stated, “Each facility was surveyed by a different Ohio Department of Health team, and each team arrived at the same conclusion.  These deficiency free results attest to the dedicated work of MHCO staff and residents within the buildings, and the cooperation of the MHCO families and communities in support of our efforts to contain COVID-19.”

These results also support the statement made in May by Kathryn Brod, President/CEO of LeadingAge Ohio when she said, “Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio exemplifies both quality care and the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic – that it can strike anywhere, at any time, despite use of best practices on infection control.”

MHCO continues to adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by the COVID-19 Pandemic in our organization and in our lives.