Search form

Obamacare Imposes New Compliance Program Requirements for Nursing Facilities

By Michael R. Bertoncini
  • January 25, 2013

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), also known as Obamacare, all nursing facilities and skilled nursing facilities must have a compliance and ethics program that contains certain statutorily-required elements by March 23, 2013. The program must be effective in preventing and detecting criminal, civil, and administrative violations under PPACA and in promoting quality of care. 

The PPACA requires the following eight program elements or components: 

  • Compliance standards and procedures to be followed by employees and agents;
  • “High-level personnel” designated to oversee compliance with “sufficient resources and authority” to assure compliance;
  • Discretionary authority not given to individuals the organization knows or should know have a “propensity to engage in criminal, civil, and administrative violations”;
  • Effective communication of the standards and procedures to all employees and agents;
  • Adoption of monitoring, auditing and reporting systems that include anti-retaliation protections for employees who report offenses;
  • Consistent enforcement of standards through disciplinary action;
  • Reasonable responses to reported offenses and steps to prevent further similar offenses, if an offense is detected; and
  • Periodic reviews of the program to identify necessary changes or modifications.

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of the Inspector General has made designing, implementing, and maintaining an effective compliance program a best practice for nursing facilities since 2000. PPACA has made such compliance programs mandatory.

While the PPACA calls for DHHS to publish regulations providing additional guidance on compliance programs, DHHS has not yet done so. The absence of such regulatory guidance, however, does not relieve nursing facilities and skilled nursing facilities of their statutory obligation.

All nursing facilities and skilled nursing facilities should consider reviewing their existing compliance and ethics programs to ensure that they include the required statutory elements. The Jackson Lewis Corporate Governance and Internal Investigations Practice Group is ready to assist you in this endeavor. The Group includes attorneys with substantial experience working as in-house counsel for health systems as well as former regulators and prosecutors. If you have any questions about this or other workplace developments, please contact the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

©2013 Jackson Lewis P.C. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

See AllRelated Articles You May Like

June 17, 2016

Supreme Court Unanimously Backs ‘Implied Certification’ Liability under False Claims Act

June 17, 2016

Federal contractors may be subject to liability under the federal False Claims Act for violating regulatory requirements not expressly stated in their contracts, according to U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Universal Health Services v. Escobar, No. 15-7 (June 16, 2016). The Court unanimously adopted the “implied... Read More

February 10, 2016

Former Employee’s SOX Whistleblower Claim Fails, Federal Appeals Court Rules

February 10, 2016

Finding a former employee failed to “put up” sufficient facts to support the nexus between his termination and whistleblower activity protected by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the federal appeals court in Philadelphia, in effect, has told him to “shut up,” affirming summary judgment unanimously in favor of the... Read More

September 16, 2015

Split Appeals Court Decision May Set Stage for Supreme Court Review of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provision

September 16, 2015

A federal appeals court ruling on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“DFA”) may prompt U.S. Supreme Court review as to when an employee whistleblower is entitled to the benefits of the anti-retaliation provisions of the DFA. In a two-to-one decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second... Read More