Breaking Compliance News Blog

Enroll in MPA’s Virtual Nursing Home Compliance Officer Training!

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 9/21/20 9:15 AM

With CMS resuming routine nursing home surveys, it’s time to get your compliance and ethics program ready for future surveys.

Whether you are new to compliance or want to make sure you are ready to lead a Phase 3 Compliance and Ethics Program, MPA’s 4-part virtual how-to course can help. Sign up now and receive:

  • Four 75-minute classes. We will keep the class going until all your questions are answered!
  • One free compliance tool per class
  • A 20% discount on MPA’s SNF Compliance Program (save $350)

Sign up for one course, or all four.

Price: $95 per course or $325 for all four. Sign up now.

Those enrolled in all four courses will receive a digital step-by-step compliance program implementation guide.

Can’t attend live? All attendees will receive access to the recorded classes for 6 months.

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Topics: Training and Education, Affordable Care Act, compliance, compliance officer, Phase 3, webinar

Enroll in MPA’s Virtual Nursing Home Compliance Officer Training!

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 9/15/20 9:00 AM

With CMS resuming routine nursing home surveys, it’s time to get your compliance and ethics program ready for future surveys.

Whether you are new to compliance or want to make sure you are ready to lead a Phase 3 Compliance and Ethics Program, MPA’s 4-part virtual how-to course can help. Sign up now and receive:

  • Four 75-minute classes. We will keep the class going until all your questions are answered!
  • One free compliance tool per class
  • A 20% discount on MPA’s SNF Compliance Program (save $350)

Sign up for one course, or all four.

Price: $95 per course or $325 for all four. Sign up now.

Those enrolled in all four courses will receive a digital step-by-step compliance program implementation guide.

Can’t attend live? All attendees will receive access to the recorded classes for 6 months.

Read More

Topics: Training and Education, Affordable Care Act, compliance, compliance officer, Phase 3, webinar

*** BREAKING NEWS: CMS NURSING HOME SURVEYS ARE BACK

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 8/18/20 11:52 AM

In March, CMS announced that it was suspending routine surveys for nursing homes during the pandemic, in order to focus on infection control and Immediate Jeopardy issues. However, CMS announced on Monday that this suspension is coming to an end.

In its memo to State Survey Agency Directors, titled: Enforcement Cases Held during the Prioritization Period and Revised Survey Prioritization, CMS announced that it is resuming onsite revisits and other surveys, and expanding its desk review.

In addition to the expanded surveys previously authorized for states entering Phase 3 of the Nursing Homes Reopening guidance, CMS is authorizing further survey expansion. The guidance states (direct quote):

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Topics: annual review, guidance, compliance, Phase 3, surveys

Nursing Home Residents Can Keep Stimulus Checks

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 7/16/20 8:45 AM

On June 11, CMS issued an alert warning nursing homes not to seize residents' CARES Act stimulus checks. Providers that do so could lose their Medicare and Medicaid contracts.

CMS cited resident rights laws in support of its warning:

  • 42 CFR 483.12, Freedom from Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (prohibition against misappropriation of resident property): "the deliberate misplacement, exploitation or wrongful, temporary, or permanent use of a resident's belongings or money without the resident's consent."
  • 42 CFR 483.10, each resident has "the right to manage his or her financial affairs"; "The facility must not require residents to deposit their personal funds with the facility. If a resident chooses to deposit personal funds with the facility, upon written authorization of a resident, the facility must act as a fiduciary of the resident's funds and hold, safeguard, manage, and account for the personal funds of the resident deposited with the facility...."

The FTC issued a consumer alert advising Medicaid beneficiaries that nursing homes CANNOT require them to sign their CARES Act stimulus checks over to the nursing home. The FTC encourages residents who have been asked by nursing homes for their CARES Act checks to complaint to the state attorney general.

MPA has updated its Resident Rights Policy and Resident Rights Summary to reflect this alert. Subscribers to MPA's Nursing Home Compliance Program received an email with the new policy downloads today. Click here to subscribe.

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Topics: Resident Rights, compliance, Phase 3

Sign up for MPA's May Compliance & COVID-19 Webinars

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 5/4/20 10:12 AM

I hope you can join me for MPA's upcoming complimentary webinars:

For all providers:

Keeping Compliant During COVID-19

May 19, 2020, 12 CST

Register

 

For nursing homes:

Phase 3 Compliance Webinar: Social Media Compliance During a Pandemic

May 27, 2020, 12 CST

Register now

 

Zoom will email you a link to access the webinar - and I will also send this link around the day before the webinar.

Have a great day!

COVID-19 Discounts:

  • All digital download HIPAA Tool Kits are 50% off until June.
  • Compliance program annual reviews are 25% off until June (call or email me for info)
  • Our HIPAA & COVID-19 Toolkit is available at the discounted price of $95.
  • MPA will continue putting out HIPAA announcements, news, and tips on the blog
  • MPA has free compliance and HIPAA resources on its Free Resources page.  

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Topics: compliance, Phase 3, COVID-19

Phase III: Do SNFs need a Compliance Officer?

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 2/25/20 8:15 AM

 

Absolutely.

In July 2019, CMS published a proposed rule that would modify the Compliance and Ethics program aspects of the Phase III Long-Term Care Facilities Requirements for Participation (the “Proposed Rule”).

Some of these proposed modifications removed requirements to assign compliance roles to nursing home personnel. For example, CMS proposes eliminating the following requirements:

  • All nursing homes must designate “an appropriate compliance and ethics program contact to which individuals may report suspected violations.”
  • Chains of five or more nursing homes must designate a compliance officer for whom the compliance program “is a major responsibility.”
  • Chains of five or more nursing homes must designate compliance liaisons at each facility.

 

If made final, the changes will go into effect one year after the rule goes into effect.

CMS’ proposed removal of the compliance officer, compliance liaison, and compliance reports contact requirements might have some nursing homes jumping for joy. After all, fewer regulatory requirements likely means fewer F-tags on your state survey. While we can likely all agree that fewer F-tags are a good thing, nursing homes would be wise to designate someone as compliance officer.

Keep in mind that the Proposed Rule has not yet been made final, and, as of November 28, 2019, SNFs are expected to comply with the original Phase 3 compliance requirements at 42 CFR 483.85. But, what if the Proposed Rule becomes final?

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Topics: compliance, compliance officer, Phase 3

Have you measured your compliance culture?

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 2/19/20 11:00 AM

 

Many healthcare providers are accustomed to assessing their compliance programs on a regular basis. The OIG recommends this practice annually - and, as of November 28, 2019, nursing homes are required to conduct an annual review. It is common for providers to evaluate compliance policies, training, auditing programs, and other aspects of the seven elements of an effective compliance program. It is less common - and yet crucial - for organizations to evaluate their compliance culture.

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Topics: Culture of Compliance, annual review, compliance, Phase 3, surveys

Download MPA's Guide to Compliance Program Review/Annual Review

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 2/12/20 9:15 AM

Compliance program review is essential to maintaining an effective program.

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Topics: annual review, compliance, Phase 3

Top 5 reasons you need a compliance program review

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 2/11/20 10:15 AM

 

1. Without a review, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Were policies distributed? Were staff, board members, contractors, and volunteers properly trained? Were all risk areas audited? Were audit findings mitigated? Were compliance reports properly investigated and met with discipline and corrective action? Without conducting a review, you don’t know. Who would you rather identify your compliance flaws: your own organization, via a compliance review – or the government, via an audit or investigation?

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Topics: Compliance Basics, annual review, compliance, vendor screening, Phase 3

Phase III: Do SNFs need to conduct a compliance program annual review?

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 1/21/20 8:00 AM

In a word: yes.

In July 2019, CMS published a proposed rule that would modify the Compliance and Ethics program aspects of the Phase III Long-Term Care Facilities Requirements for Participation.

One of the proposed modifications brought a sigh of relief from the nursing home industry: CMS wants to drop the requirement that nursing homes conduct an annual review of their compliance programs.

Instead, CMS proposes the following: “The operating organization for each facility must periodically review and revise its compliance program to identify necessary changes within the organization and its facilities.”

While CMS did not define “periodically” in the proposed rule, CMS refers to a “biennial” review in the proposed rule comments. Hopefully this will be clarified in the final rule.

Keep in mind that the Proposed Rule has not yet been made final, and, as of November 28, 2019, SNFs are expected to comply with the original Phase 3 compliance requirements at 42 CFR 483.85. But, what if the Proposed Rule becomes final?

Read More

Topics: annual review, compliance, Phase 3

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