CMS to Use Provider Fines to Develop Nursing Home Safety Resources

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Tuesday announced an initiative to divert some of the money it collects in provider fines to fund general nursing home improvement initiatives.

The three-year Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program (CMPRP) will use a portion of nursing home penalty cash to pay for the development of toolkits and other educational resources designed to help operators improve care delivery.

“CMS is committed to ensuring nursing home residents are safe and receive quality care,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement announcing the plan. “We are pleased to offer nursing home staff practical tools and assistance to improve resident care and positively impact the lives of individuals in our nation’s nursing homes.”

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“Big Four” accounting and consulting firm Deloitte won a contract with the government in September 2017 to help develop and run the program, CMS noted, with the company’s consulting team managing partnerships with various external organizations as part of the effort.

CMS released the first product of the CMPRP, a competency assessment for nursing home staff, in conjunction with the announcement. Further materials will be released, with the input of providers, under the general theme of furthering resident-centered care, CMS said — with an emphasis on improving dementia care, cutting adverse events in nursing homes, and fighting high employee turnover at facilities.

The agency will also develop the ability to provide temporary management services for nursing homes through the program, CMS said.

While most of the cash recovered from skilled nursing facilities and other providers through civil monetary penalties goes to the states, the federal government retains a portion of those funds.

“This program demonstrates our dedication to improving the quality of life and quality of care for nursing home residents nationwide,” CMS wrote in a fact sheet about the program. “We are very excited to move forward with this program.”

Written by Alex Spanko

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