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The rule, which implements the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, adjusts the penalties to reflect inflation and “maintain their deterrent effect.” The final rule was effective upon its publication in the Federal Register on September 6, but applies to civil penalty amounts assessed after August 1, 2016. Thus, providers waiting for CMS imposition letters for surveys conducted after November 2, 2015 may be unpleasantly surprised with a CMP that is substantially higher than expected.
The adjustments will raise the maximum per day and single instance penalties for out-of-compliance skilled nursing facilities from $10,000 per day to $20,628. For example, the Immediate Jeopardy per day penalty range will now be $6,291 – $20,628. The single instance CMP range for jeopardies and harm level citations will be $2,063 – $20,628. This marks the first time that the CMPs have been adjusted since 1987.
Additional CMPs that will increase under the rule include penalties for individuals who notify skilled nursing facilities when a survey is going to be conducted, a penalty for improper billing and penalties for violations of the Elder Justice Act.
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