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How to Bomb a Survey

Agencies often ask what they can do in order to pass survey. Frankly, there’s so much to do in order to pass survey that it is easier to ask how to bomb survey. And I have firsthand knowledge on how to completely bomb a survey. Follow the instructions below and it is almost guaranteed that you will find yourself in survey hell shortly after the state comes knocking on your door.

  1. Hire anyone who is available. Do not waste your time checking references or verifying licensure. Supervise staff only when convenient. Play ignorant when you learn that the DON doesn’t have the required experience to be in position.
  2. Honesty may be the best policy but not if you want to bomb survey. Give a surveyor just a hint that you might be fudging on the facts and your survey will go south in a heartbeat.
  3. Show your creative side by manufacturing notes and documents as they are requested from the surveyor.
  4. Explain to the surveyors that your referring physicians are too busy to address patient problems so you haven’t actually contacted any of them when blood sugars fall or blood pressures rise.
  5. Write your therapy frequencies after the visits are made to ensure they are accurate.
  6. Admit numerous patients from physicians who are not licensed to practice. This strategy works best if you can produce documentation that you tried to verify their license but couldn’t find their name in the Medical Board’s database.
  7. If you are the Director or an owner of an agency, distance yourself from the staff by calling them stupid. It will make you look brilliant and undoubtedly cause questions about agency leadership ensuring poor survey results.
  8. Explain that your hospitalization rate is higher than state average because your on call nurse drinks most weekends and you have no choice but to send your patients to the hospital.
  9. Refuse to let the surveyors in the door. I’ve only seen this once (not our client by the way) but thus far, this technique has a 100 percent success rate when it comes to having a license revoked.
  10. And obviously the easiest and surest way to bomb survey is to forge signatures.

If you refuse to follow these guidelines, it is entirely possible that you will pass survey regardless of how many honest mistakes you have made. When it comes time for survey, agencies that tend to their patients’ needs, pay close attention to documentation and are open and honest with surveyors usually pass. Deficiency free surveys are bragging rights but an honest survey with one or two tags that don’t relate to patient care is a huge success.

So my best advice to anyone seeking to pass survey is just breath. It will be fine. You really have to put some effort into bombing a survey if you take good care of your patients and your documentation matches what you do.

Please note that Haydel Consulting Services LLC does not enter into business relationships with agencies who wish to fail survey. For other purposes we can be reached at or at 225-216-1241.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. kay reed #

    This left me laughing for a long time. How true and how sad.

    April 2, 2009

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