Proposed regs increase fines

Maximum civil monetary penalties for skilled nursing providers will more than double under a final rule released by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It became effective Sept. 6.

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.” 

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

CMPs also will increase for individuals who notify skilled nursing facilities when a survey is going to be conducted. Also rising will be a penalty for improper billing and penalties per instance of a skilled nursing facility failing to meet certification requirements.

Providers have criticized the penalties adjustment act, which was included as a provision of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, since it was released in November.