New Long-Term Care Facility Closure Notice Requirements Go Into Effect March 23rd
2011: Issue 1 – Focus on Fraud and Abuse
CMS published an interim final rule in the Federal Register on February 18, 2011, amending the long-term care facility closure notice requirements. Long-term care facilities affected by the new rule include skilled nursing facilities (SNF) in the Medicare program and nursing facilities (NF) in the Medicaid program. The Interim Rule, which implements section 6113 of the Affordable Care Act, becomes effective on March 23, 2011. However, CMS will accept comments on the Interim Rule through April 19, 2011. 76 Fed. Reg. 9503 (Feb. 18, 2011).
The Interim Rule places primary responsibility on individuals serving as administrators of a SNF or NF to timely report a facility’s impending closure. The regulations also outline when Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement may be available during the closure process.
Under the Interim Rule:
Long-term care facilities that comply with the new notice requirements will be entitled to continue to receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement during the closure period and reimbursement will continue until all residents have been successfully relocated.
The regulation is especially important because of the individual financial risk to administrators. Administrators who fail to comply with the new notification rules will be subject to civil monetary penalties of up to $100,000, as well as possible exclusion from participation in federal health care programs. If failure to adhere to notice requirements results in harm to a resident, a resident’s family, or a visitor, the administrator will be subject to additional Civil Monetary Penalties. State licensing agencies may also bring disciplinary actions against administrators.
The Interim Rule provides appeal rights for administrators sanctioned for noncompliance with these new regulatory requirements.
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