Providers to sound off about CMS survey and certification process

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Nursing home operators have a golden opportunity to let federal regulators know their feelings on new healthcare reform provisions that will take effect soon. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is looking for providers' comments on any area that might involve the agency's Survey & Certification group. CMS has asked that at least initial feedback be sent by Wednesday due to the time-sensitive nature of some of the reform measures.

In a letter sent to nursing homes, CMS group director Thomas Hamilton asked stakeholders to “comment, make suggestions, or express concerns.” Subject areas could include, but are not confined to: disclosure of ownership, ethics and compliance programs, the Nursing Home Compare website, the national nurse aide registry and a national program for background checks on long-term care employees.

“Some provisions of the law require particularly quick action on the part of CMS,” Hamilton noted in his letter. “Examples include the national background check program, implementation of civil monetary penalty reforms, posting of 2567 reports on State websites, and implementation of the independent informal dispute resolution systems by States.”

Comments should be sent to CMS's Jenny Filipovits at jenny.filipovits@cms.hhs.gov.