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Ensure Compliance and Quality Care: Recent Legislation Impacts Ohio Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

Ensure Compliance and Quality Care: Recent Legislation Impacts Ohio Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

The recently passed Ohio state budget bill brings significant changes to the regulations governing nursing homes (NFs) and assisted living facilities (ALFs). These amendments introduce intermediate sanctions for violations, focusing on prompt correction and imposing civil monetary penalties.

1. Addressing Violations

The new legislation empowers the Ohio Department of Health to act when violations occur in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Providers found in violation may be subject to various sanctions, including the submission of comprehensive plans of correction. These plans outline the necessary actions to rectify the violations, specify timelines for completion, and establish mechanisms for monitoring ongoing compliance.

2. Civil Monetary Penalties

To enforce compliance, civil monetary penalties (CMPs) may be imposed in accordance and will vary based on the severity and repetition of the violations:

  • Repeat non-harm violations: The range of civil monetary penalties for these violations is between $2,000 and $3,000.
  • Harm level violations: For violations resulting in actual harm to residents but not posing an immediate danger, penalties can range from $3,100 to $6,000.
  • Real and present danger violations: Violations that jeopardize the safety and well-being of residents may result in penalties ranging from $6,100 to $10,000.

3. Resident Rights and Transfer/Discharge Violations

Providers should be particularly vigilant about resident rights and transfer/discharge protocols. The legislation imposes fines of $1,000 to $5,000 for the first offense and $2,000 to $10,000 for subsequent offenses related to these violations. It emphasizes the importance of respecting resident rights and ensuring appropriate transfer and discharge procedures.

4. Settlement Agreements and Quality Improvement

Recognizing the value of remedial measures and quality improvement initiatives, the law allows the Ohio Department of Health to engage in settlement agreements with providers. This enables nursing homes and assisted living facilities to invest an amount equal to or less than the proposed civil monetary penalty in measures aimed at preventing similar violations in the future. These initiatives may include targeted training programs or conducting audit reviews with the assistance of external consultants.

5. Collaboration with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

For nursing homes, the legislation accounts for concurrent penalties imposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the same violations. The civil monetary penalties determined by the Ohio Department of Health will be reduced by the amount imposed by CMS, ensuring a fair and balanced approach to penalty assessments.

The newly enacted legislation serves as a stern reminder to nursing homes and residential care/assisted living facilities to uphold the highest standards of care and compliance. By implementing intermediate sanctions, such as plans of correction and civil monetary penalties, the legislation aims to safeguard residents' well-being and enhance the overall quality of care provided. Providers are encouraged to prioritize resident rights, adhere to transfer/discharge regulations, and invest in proactive quality improvement measures to ensure ongoing compliance.

For assistance with regulatory compliance, please contact Michele Conroy, Kally Ratzloff, Margaret Chamberlain or Christopher Tost.