CMS issues proposed rule for home health sanctions

Last month, CMS released proposed intermediate sanctions for HHAs in the 2013 prospective payment system update notice. Notably, the proposed sanctions include money penalties that range up to $10,000 per day; imposition of temporary management; suspension of payment; directed plan of correction; and directed in-service training.

The sanctions are based upon how much the deficiencies pose immediate jeopardy; the nature and duration of the deficiencies; whether or not there are repeat deficiencies; an HHA’s compliance history; failing to provide quality care; and how deeply connected an agency is to other organizations that have performance problems. In the past, the only option CMS used to sanction noncompliant HHAs has been termination; however, this option did not occur often. 

The new proposed rule focuses on intermediate sanctions but also strengthens its language regarding termination.  This may indicate a stronger approach towards using this option with repeat HHA offender. 

Home healthcare providers have been commenting on the proposed rule for the last few weeks.  The feedback provided has been centered around lack of depth and clarity of the proposed rule with specific examples as well as the amount of the fines. 

Have you provided comments to the proposed rule to CMS?  If so, what is your feedback?


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