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If you’re a licensed long term care facility looking to do something amazing in these difficult times, you need to know about Civil Money Penalty reinvestments!

You probably already know that the Civil Money Penalty is a monetary penalty CMS may impose against nursing homes for each instance a nursing home is not in substantial compliance with one or more Medicare and Medicaid participation requirements for long-term care facilities. But what you may NOT know is that a generally large portion of Civil Money Penalties collected from nursing homes are returned to the states in which Civil Money Penalties are imposed to be used in nursing homes! This money in many states is just sitting in a bank account waiting to be requested and used.

Civil Money Penalty Funds Must Be Reinvested!

In fact, state Civil Money Penalty funds MUST be reinvested to support activities that benefit nursing home residents and that protect or improve their quality of care or quality of life. Civil Money Penalty funds are being used to reinvest into state Nursing Homes and the hope is to strengthen safety and health outcomes for nursing home residents. This could be the training of staff in infection procedures or any quality care aspect of the facility.

More Than Training

This money doesn’t need to just go to training and procedures though, it can also go to services and can go for as long as 3 years. Applications recently have been granted for facilities to get iPads or other tablets so residents could Facetime with family members during the pandemic. This is a great way to apply and use the monies which will help bring families closer during this crisis. Your residents’ family members can go beyond just holding up signs outside of windows and waving.

Writing For a Better Future

Another great example of the use of these funds was a project in Wisconsin in which high school students joined up with residents at the Park View Health Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for an innovative program, “Write Your Life”.

Civil Money Penalty

Over four days there was facilitated engagement between nursing home residents and students through a workshop designed to engage participants with music, poetry, and art. Residents shared their memories with the students using mementos provided by the nursing home residents’ families. After their days together, the group reunited months later for a “book party,” where seniors were presented with a printed book of the memories they shared. The two project goals, were to “provide a memorable impact in relationship building between young adults and our elderly and/or disabled residents, and to give our resident participants a means to share and preserve valued histories for their loved ones.” Take a look at the writeup on this story here.

CMS Toolkits & Breakthrough Communities

CMS has developed “toolkits” to help with quality care and this program which are outlined and available on their website. The Toolkits were designed as a result of CMS working with nursing home Breakthrough Communities which is a learning collaborative design where a group of nursing homes joined learning sessions and team calls to learn about quality improvement concepts.

Find Toolkits here

A key Toolkit that was developed was the Head to Toe Infection prevention kit which is something that is of grave importance during the Covid-19 crisis. There are a half dozen toolkits that focus on Dementia, staff training, and competency, and employee satisfaction all geared toward quality care.

Flexibility Built In

The use of these funds is flexible as long as its benefiting the quality of care for your residents the application for most states is short just a page or two and the amount of money is variable but it is substantial. There is a spreadsheet on the website showing a summary of the projects that were completed 

Civil Money Penalty Reinvestments FAQ:

  • Are non-certified LTC facilities eligible for these funds? No. Only SNF not Assisted Living or any other senior care.
  • Does a project need to benefit multiple LTC facilities to be approved? No. A group of facilities can request money or an individual facility can apply for funds
  • When can Civil Money Penalty funds be requested? Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

For more on recent trends in long term care, read our blog and subscribe to the LTC Heroes podcast.