Civil Money Penalty funds don't have to go directly to nursing homes, CMS notes

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CMS decides not to extend therapy caps exemptions process
CMS decides not to extend therapy caps exemptions process
A recently released memo from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services clarifies that Civil Money Penalty (CMP) funds are not just for nursing homes.

Some states may not realize they can look beyond facilities when deciding ways to spend CMP funds, according to the June 19 CMS memo. When these funds are collected, the only CMS stipulation is that they be used for purposes that will benefit nursing home residents. The memo clarifies a Survey and Certification Letter from 2002. While that rule hasn't changed, CMS has recognized that some states aren't entirely sure which uses for the funds are appropriate.

Some examples that CMS suggests include reimbursing residents for lost personal funds, maintaining operations at a facility pending closure or correction, and protecting health and property of residents. CMS offers examples of "creative" ways in which some states have distributed the CMP funds. Louisiana, New York, Illinois and Arkansas all used CMP funds to promote culture change movements in their nursing homes, while Connecticut, Michigan and Minnesota all used the funds to enhance the work of long-term care ombudsman programs, according to CMS.

For more information on CMS' memo and other ways in which states have used CMP funds to benefit nursing home residents, visit http://www.cms.hhs.gov/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/downloads/SCLetter09_44.pdf.