Providers see survey gift in penalty delay

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Providers have been given an extra 12 months to come up to speed with new survey standards before typical penalties will be meted out for non-compliance.
Providers have been given an extra 12 months to come up to speed with new survey standards before typical penalties will be meted out for non-compliance.

Penalties for the next phase of nursing home survey guidelines will be postponed a year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced June 30.

Saying it had “heard concerns” about the requirements, a CMS memo noted providers still would have to follow the new rules. Transgressors, however, would not be hit with civil monetary penalties, payment denials or termination from the Medicare program.

“CMS would use this year-long [delay] period to educate facilities about certain new Phase 2 quality standards by requiring a directed plan of correction or additional directed in-service training,” the CMS memo stated.

Enforcement for other existing standards, such as those imposed in Phase 1 on Nov. 28, 2016, would remain subject to the normal process and penalties.

Most facilities will be surveyed on Phase 2 requirements during the first year, officials noted.