Nursing home background checks, foot care being scrutinized by OIG

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Government investigators are preparing reports on skilled nursing facilities' Part B billing practices and background check processes, according to the recently released annual work plan from the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

Nursing home practices will be the subject of five reports planned for publication in fiscal year 2015, the work plan states.

The report on “questionable” Part B billing patterns will include studies of “several broad categories of services,” including foot care, according to the plan. The OIG also anticipates releasing a report on how well state background check programs are working. The government issued grants to some states to support background checks of prospective direct care employees at nursing facilities.

The other planned 2015 reports are on state agency verification of deficiency corrections, hospitalizations for manageable and preventable conditions, and Medicare Part A billing. The Part A report will “describe changes in SNF billing practices” between fiscal year 2011 and 2013, according to the work plan.

All the reports have been described in previous work plans. Several were slated for release in 2014, while the background checks report was last listed for a 2017 release. Work planning is a “dynamic process” and this current version is subject to change, the OIG noted. Click here for the complete document.