A long-term-care provider group is asking Congress to include in its proposed regulatory freeze a set of rules that enforce nursing home quality standards.
The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging wants the Senate to expand its retroactive moratorium to all rules issued since the Nov. 8, 1994, election. The HCFA nursing home enforcement standards were published in the Federal Register two days later on Nov. 10.
The House passed a version of the regulatory relief bill that put a freeze on all rules issued since Nov. 20 of last year.
AAHSA spokesman Scott Parkin said if the Senate passes a freeze retroactive to Nov. 9, 1994, that date has a chance of being included in the House-Senate conference document that will reconcile differences between the two bills.
AAHSA officials said they support the enforcement rules, but argue that they should be frozen because some states are not prepared to train nursing home employees in how to comply.
They had no estimate of the total cost of compliance.
The HCFA rules, which are scheduled to take effect July 1, provide for fines of as much as $10,000 a day and a variety of lesser penalties to match the severity of the violations. Previously, HCFA's only punishment option was to kick violators out of Medicaid and Medicare, which rarely happened.-