CMS releases final rule to increase civil monetary penalties

Maximum civil monetary penalties for skilled nursing providers will more than double under a final rule released Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The rule, which implements the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, adjusts the penalties to reflect inflation and “maintain their deterrent effect.” The final rule is set to become effective upon its publication in the Federal Register on Sept. 6.

The adjustments will raise the maximum penalty for out-of-compliance skilled nursing facilities from $10,000 per day to $20,628. This marks the first time that the CMPs have been adjusted since 1987.

Additional CMPs that will increase under the rule include penalties for individuals who notify skilled nursing facilities when a survey is going to be conducted, a penalty for improper billing and penalties per instance of a skilled nursing facility failing to meet certification requirements.

The penalties adjustment act, included as a provision of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, earned criticism from provider groups when it was first unveiled in November for placing an undue burden on providers “striving to do the right thing.”

Click here to read the full list of CMPs that will increase under the final rule.