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CMS (HCFA) Report: Less Jeopardy, More Penalties.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS, formerly the Health Care Financing Administration, or HCFA) exceeded its survey expectations in 2000, according to information from the agency's quarterly report on its Nursing Home Initiative that covered the period ending December 31, 2000.

As reported in the Ober/Kaler Health Law Alert, CMS aimed to survey 889 nursing homes in fiscal year (FY) 2000, and by September, it had conducted 900. In addition, state survey agencies exceeded by 1.8% the federal government's requirement that they conduct at least 10% of nursing home surveys during off-hours.

The number of homes identified as Special Focus Facilities (SFF)--those with a history of unsatisfactory compliance--that had immediate jeopardy to residents' safety and health decreased from 27 to 2% during the SFF program. In fact, six homes were removed from the SFF list after the beginning of calendar year 2000. The overall number of homes cited with G-level and higher deficiencies during the second quarter of calendar year 2000-25.2%-was lower than at any other time in 1998, 1999 and 2000. The citation rate for improper use of restraints in calendar year 2000 decreased from 11.5% in 1999 to 10.5%.

However, the agency sanctioned 2,181 civil money penalties (CMPs) during FY2000, more than double the 1,050 CMPs issued in FY1999, and per-instance CMPs increased 15-fold. Moreover, the abuse citation rate in the second quarter of calendar year 2000--exceeding 20%--was more than twice the rate of the same period in 1999.
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Author:EDWARDS, DOUGLAS J.
Publication:Nursing Homes
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2001
Words:253
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