Provider fines see slight uptick under HHS' updated civil monetary penalties

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Out-of-compliance skilled nursing providers will experience slightly higher civil monetary penalties under an update released by the Department of Health and Human Services this week.

The updated CMPs represent the inflation-related increases called for in the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvement Act of 2015, which was finalized last September. The policy's implementation marked the first time that CMPs were adjusted since 1987, resulting in maximum penalties for providers jumped from $10,000 per day to $20,628.

The rise in CMPs announced in this year's update are significantly less drastic than the initial increase, but account for inflation to “maintain the deterrent effect” of the penalties, HHS said in the update.

Included in the adjusted CMPs are penalties for individuals who notify skilled nursing providers of an upcoming survey, which increase from $4,126 to $4,194, and improper billing by skilled nursing facilities, which rose from $5,000 to $5,082.

The maximum per-day CMP for noncompliant skilled nursing facility also increased from $20,628 to $20,965.

The adjusted penalty rates apply to CMPs assessed on or after Feb. 3, for violations that occurred after Nov. 2, 2015. For violations that occurred prior to Nov. 2, 2015, or penalties that were assessed prior to the final rule's Sept. 6, 2016 implementation date, the pre-adjusted penalty rates will apply.