(a) CMS review. CMS conducts a review of the following:
(1) A deeming authority review of an accreditation organization's program if the comparability or validation review produces findings, as described at § 493.573. CMS reviews, as appropriate, the criteria described in §§ 493.555 and 493.557(a) to reevaluate whether the accreditation organization continues to meet all these criteria.
(2) An exemption review of a State's licensure program if the comparability or validation review produces findings, as described at § 493.573. CMS reviews, as appropriate, the criteria described in §§ 493.555 and 493.557(b) to reevaluate whether the licensure program continues to meet all these criteria.
(3) A review of an accreditation organization or State licensure program, at CMS's discretion, if validation review findings, irrespective of the rate of disparity, indicate widespread or systematic problems in the organization's accreditation or State's licensure process that provide evidence that the requirements, taken as a whole, are no longer equivalent to CLIA requirements, taken as a whole.
(4) A review of the accreditation organization or State licensure program whenever validation inspection results indicate a rate of disparity of 20 percent or more between the findings of the organization or State and those of CMS or a CMS agent for the following periods:
(i) One year for accreditation organizations.
(ii) Two years for State licensure programs.
(b) CMS action after review. Following the review, CMS may take the following action:
(1) If CMS determines that the accreditation organization or State has failed to adopt requirements equal to, or more stringent than, CLIA requirements, CMS may give a conditional approval for a probationary period of its deeming authority to an organization 30 days following the date of CMS's determination, or exempt status to a State within 30 days of CMS's determination, both not to exceed 1 year, to afford the organization or State an opportunity to adopt equal or more stringent requirements.
(2) If CMS determines that there are widespread or systematic problems in the organization's or State's inspection process, CMS may give conditional approval during a probationary period, not to exceed 1 year, effective 30 days following the date of the determination.
(c) Final determination. CMS makes a final determination as to whether the organization or State continues to meet the criteria described in this subpart and issues a notice that includes the reasons for the determination to the organization or State within 60 days after the end of any probationary period. This determination is based on an evaluation of any of the following:
(1) The most recent validation inspection and review findings. To continue to be approved, the organization or State must meet the criteria of this subpart.
(2) Facility-specific data, as well as other related information.
(3) The organization's or State's inspection procedures, surveyors' qualifications, ongoing education, training, and composition of inspection teams.
(4) The organization's accreditation requirements, or the State's licensure or approval requirements.
(d) Date of withdrawal of approval. CMS may withdraw its approval of the accreditation organization or State licensure program, effective 30 days from the date of written notice to the organization or State of this proposed action, if improvements acceptable to CMS have not been made during the probationary period.
(e) Continuation of validation inspections. The existence of any validation review, probationary status, or any other action, such as a deeming authority review, by CMS does not affect or limit the conduct of any validation inspection.
(f) Federal Register notice. CMS publishes a notice in the Federal Register containing a justification for removing the deeming authority from an accreditation organization, or the CLIA-exempt status of a State licensure program.
(g) Withdrawal of approval-effect on laboratory status -
(1) Accredited laboratory. After CMS withdraws approval of an accreditation organization's deeming authority, the certificate of accreditation of each affected laboratory continues in effect for 60 days after it receives notification of the withdrawal of approval.
(2) CLIA-exempt laboratory. After CMS withdraws approval of a State licensure program, the exempt status of each licensed or approved laboratory in the State continues in effect for 60 days after a laboratory receives notification from the State of the withdrawal of CMS's approval of the program.
(3) Extension. After CMS withdraws approval of an accreditation organization or State licensure program, CMS may extend the period for an additional 60 days for a laboratory if it determines that the laboratory submitted an application for accreditation to an approved accreditation organization or an application for the appropriate certificate to CMS or a CMS agent before the initial 60-day period ends.
(h) Immediate jeopardy to patients.
(1) If at any time CMS determines that the continued approval of deeming authority of any accreditation organization poses immediate jeopardy to the patients of the laboratories accredited by the organization, or continued approval otherwise constitutes a significant hazard to the public health, CMS may immediately withdraw the approval of deeming authority for that accreditation organization.
(2) If at any time CMS determines that the continued approval of a State licensure program poses immediate jeopardy to the patients of the laboratories in that State, or continued approval otherwise constitutes a significant hazard to the public health, CMS may immediately withdraw the approval of that State licensure program.
(j) State refusal to take enforcement action.
(1) CMS may withdraw approval of a State licensure program if the State refuses to take enforcement action against a laboratory in that State when CMS determines it to be necessary.
(2) A laboratory that is in a State in which CMS has withdrawn program approval is subject to the same requirements and survey and enforcement processes that are applied to a laboratory that is not exempt from CLIA requirements.
(k) Request for reconsideration. Any accreditation organization or State that is dissatisfied with a determination to withdraw approval of its deeming authority or remove approval of its State licensure program, as applicable, may request that CMS reconsider the determination, in accordance with subpart D of part 488.