This page provides basic information about being certified as a Medicare and/or Medicaid hospital provider and includes links to applicable laws, regulations, and compliance information.
A hospital is an institution primarily engaged in providing, by or under the supervision of physicians, inpatient diagnostic and therapeutic services or rehabilitation services. Critical access hospitals are certified under separate standards. Psychiatric hospitals are subject to additional regulations beyond basic hospital conditions of participation. The State Survey Agency evaluates and certifies each participating hospital as a whole for compliance with the Medicare requirements and certifies it as a single provider institution.
Under the Medicare provider-based rules it is possible for ‘one' hospital to have multiple inpatient campuses and outpatient locations. It is not permissible to certify only part of a participating hospital. Psychiatric hospitals that participate in Medicare as a Distinct Part Psychiatric hospital are not required to participate in their entirety.
However, the following are not considered parts of the hospital and are not to be included in the evaluation of the hospital's compliance:
- Components appropriately certified as other kinds of providers or suppliers. i.e., a distinct part Skilled Nursing Facility and/or distinct part Nursing Facility, Home Health Agency, Rural Health Clinic, or Hospice; Excluded residential, custodial, and non-service units not meeting certain definitions in the Social Security Act; and,
- Physician offices located in space owned by the hospital but not functioning as hospital outpatient services departments
Accredited Hospitals - A hospital accredited by a CMS-approved accreditation program may substitute accreditation under that program for survey by the State Survey Agency. Surveyors assess the hospital's compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoP) for all services, areas and locations covered by the hospital's provider agreement under its CMS Certification Number (CCN).
Although the survey generally occurs during daytime working hours (Monday through Friday), surveyors may conduct the survey at other times. This may include weekends and times outside of normal daytime (Monday through Friday) working hours. When the survey begins at times outside of normal work times, the survey team modifies the survey, if needed, in recognition of patients' activities and the staff available.
All hospital surveys are unannounced.
- Should an individual or entity (hospital) refuse to allow immediate access upon reasonable request to either a State Agency , CMS surveyor, a CMS-approved accreditation organization, or CMS contract surveyors, the hospital's Medicare provider agreement may be terminated.
- The CMS State Operations Manual (SOM) provides CMS policy regarding survey and certification activities.
See the downloads section below for the Patient's Rights Final Rule that includes more information on the hospital death reporting requirements related to restraint and seclusion.
Patient's Rights Regulation published 12/8/2006 (PDF, 335 KB) (PDF)
Chapter 2 - The Certification Process (PDF)
Full Text Statements of Deficiencies Hospital Surveys - 2023Q2 (ZIP)
Full Text Statements of Deficiencies Transplant Surveys - 2023Q2 (ZIP)