The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice on Friday, Oct. 5 looking to increase oversight of nursing home staff to ensure attendants are showing up to care for seniors in their home and prevent cases of elderly abuse or unlawful actions.
CMS stated in its notice that it’s seeking to propose a rule that would require crimes against nursing home residents be reported under Section 1150B. The proposed rule would also impose Civil Money Penalties (CMP) of up to $200,000 against nursing home staff who fail to report suspicious crimes.
Currently CMS has the authority to enforce CMPs against nursing homes, but a rule is required to impose these penalties upon individuals. The regulation also looks to implement a two-year exclusion for retaliation against individuals by federal health programs.
Not all are in agreement with this potential rule.
The 2010 Elder Justice Act implemented by former President Obama already put penalties in place for those who neglect or abuse nursing home residents and requires that nursing home staff report any incidents.
LeadingAge CEO Katie Smith Sloan told McKnight’s, the fines CMS is proposing are “excessive,” asking,
Why, with the threat of large financial penalties for failure to detect and report a ‘reasonable suspicion’ of a crime against a resident, would anyone want to work in a nursing home?
American Health Care Association VP David Gifford, M.D. also took a similar position as Sloan, telling McKnight’s:
…this kind of penalty will do nothing to proactively prevent abuse…it singles out nursing home staff and sends a chilling effect through the profession, making it more challenging to hire and retain qualified staff.
Read McKnight’s Long-Term Care News’ article on disagreements with the proposed penalties.
For the full FY2019 Mission & Priority Document, visit CMS.
Check out Modern Healthcare’s piece on the potential proposal too.