In This Issue
There are no words more feared by a skilled nursing facility Administrator during an annual recertification survey or complaint survey than these from a surveyor: “we’re citing you for an Immediate Jeopardy.” Those words set in motion a series of events, both during and after the actual survey itself, which can make the strongest Administrator—man or woman, experienced or novice—weak in the knees.
Employers across the country received some good news recently when the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed its Reply Brief in the Texas lawsuit that halted implementation of the $913 per-week salary requirement for exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). As everyone recalls, in March 2014, President Obama directed the DOL to update and modernize the regulations setting forth the requirements for administrative, executive, and professional employees to be exempt from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements.
Apparently prompted by the recent high-profile wave of ransomware attacks, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has reminded hospitals, healthcare systems, and other covered entities and business associates of their cybersecurity obligations. The reminder follows a previous warning that unless the affected covered entity or business associate can establish that there is a low probability that personal health information (PHI) has been compromised, a breach is presumed to have occurred.
The use of criminal background checks is becoming more prevalent as a form of credentialing for both individual and institutional healthcare providers seeking licensure, certification, or the benefits of other government licensing and payment agencies. Specifically, criminal background checks are now routinely used by professional licensing board and payment entities to determine which providers have the privilege of practicing their craft and being paid for their services. One area where we are seeing criminal background checks have a significant impact is Medicaid provider enrollment, and the process impacts every type of provider seeking certification by the state’s Medicaid program.
The end of the year is rapidly approaching! To avoid costly penalties that can arise from inadvertent errors in the year-end rush, plan sponsors should begin talking with their service providers now about what must be done by year-end. (Part 2)
At the end of last year, OSHA began enforcing new regulatory rules expanding the requirements for employers’ reporting and submitting workplace injury and illness records. These new reporting requirements also contain new anti-retaliation regulations. These new provisions include the ability of OSHA compliance officers to issue citations based upon alleged retaliation, even in the absence of any employee complaint. A citation can be issued solely based upon the written requirements of the employer’s safety plan.