Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Compliance Trails Federal Requirements

The Department of Health and Human
Services Officer of Inspector General
(“OIG”) released a report this month titled,
“Nursing Facilities’ Compliance with
Federal Regulations for Reporting
Allegations of Abuse and Neglect.” The
report examines reporting practices for
abuse and neglect in nursing facilities across
the country. According to the study:
• 85% of nursing homes reported at least one
allegation of abuse or neglect in 2012;
• 76% of nursing homes maintained policies
that address Federal regulations for
reporting both allegations of abuse or
neglect, and investigation results (95% of
facilities maintained policies that address
Federal regulations for reporting allegations
of abuse or neglect only);
• 61% of nursing homes had documentation
supporting the facilities’ compliance with
Federal regulations under Section 1150B of
the Social Security Act requiring (a) annual
notification of covered individuals about
their obligation to report any reasonable
suspicion of a crime, and (b) the posting of a
notice regarding employees’ rights to file a
complaint; and
• 53% of allegations of abuse or neglect and
the subsequent investigation results were
reported as Federally required.
In light of these statistics, nursing homes
should thoroughly review their abuse and
neglect policies and practices. A robust and
thoughtful abuse and neglect prevention
program both protects nursing home
residents and the facility. The following
considerations may be helpful in reviewing a
facility’s compliance with abuse and neglect
requirements.
• Existing policies should be accessible and
understandable by all staff; they should also
be easy to implement and follow.
• Policies should be reviewed to ensure they
are consistent with Federal regulations,
especially regarding regulatory requirements
for reporting investigation results.
• Staff (including owners, operators,
employees, managers, agents, or contractors
of nursing facilities) must be educated about
their reporting obligations in the event of an
allegation of abuse or neglect or when they
reasonably suspect a crime has occurred in
the facility under Section 1150B. Staff must
also be notified about their right to file a
complaint under Section 1150B of the Social
Security Act.
• Remember to carefully document staff
education about rights and responsibilities
under Section 1150B.
• Verify policies regarding abuse and
neglect are correctly and consistently
implemented.

 

Author: Web Master
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