July 14, 2010
For Immediate Release
In its first set of regulations implementing the nursing home provisions of the new Health Care Reform law, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has done a commendable job,” said Toby S. Edelman, Senior Policy Attorney with the Center for Medicare Advocacy. “CMS puts residents firmly at the center of the public oversight system and makes decisions that assure that residents receive the high quality of care they are entitled to receive under federal law.”
The proposed regulations, published July 12, 2010, strengthen the civil money penalty system that has been in place for more than 15 years. They recognize that Congress intended to “improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nursing home enforcement process” by reducing delay in facilities’ appeals and by making penalties more effective in motivating facilities to maintain continuous compliance.
CMS also, for the first time, gives residents and their advocates a direct role in their facility’s informal appeal process and, also for the first time, authorizes that 50% of the federal fines be used for programs benefiting residents.
“These resident-protective regulations bode well for implementation of Health Care Reform,” said Edelman.