On March 22, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced that it would increase the amount of information available online by posting a nursing home’s three (3) preceding standard health surveys and three (3) years of prior complaint surveys. A link to the CMS memorandum may be found here. Previously, searchable data only included statements of deficiencies (Form CMS-2567) for the most recent standard health surveys and the past fifteen (15) months of complaint surveys. In addition to the expanded time frames, CMS also plans to include indicators as to the scope and severity of each cited deficiency.
Interestingly, CMS decided not to gather and publish corresponding plans of correction (PoCs) submitted by nursing homes. Generally, when a nursing home receives a deficiency citation via CMS Form-2567, it is required to draft and submit a plan of correction identifying how and when the cited deficiency will be resolved. This information may, however, be requested directly from the nursing home or the state survey agency (in Florida, the Agency for Health Care Administration).
With this recent move toward the publication of expanded deficiency information and ease of access to that information, the importance of drafting plans of correction has become more important than ever. On the one hand, nursing homes must draft a plan of correction in such a way as to adequately address any and all concerns expressed by CMS. However, on the other, nursing homes must carefully draft plans of correction so as to prevent third parties from taking statements of deficiency out of context and using them against the nursing home in subsequent proceedings.
For more information about how your nursing home should respond to a statement of deficiency or prepare a plan of correction, please contact Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph, PL by calling 305.350.5690, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.