CMS to Implement Fingerprint-Based Background Checks for High-Risk Providers and Suppliers in 2014

More than three years after publication of final regulations to implement Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions that strengthen provider and supplier enrollment screening provisions under federal health care programs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has selected a Fingerprint-Based Background Check Contractor (FBBC) and intends to phase in fingerprint-based background checks beginning in 2014. The final rule applies various screening tools, including unannounced site visits, background checks, and fingerprinting, based on the level of risk associated with different provider and supplier types. CMS established three levels of risk — limited, moderate, and high — and every provider and supplier category is assigned to one of these three levels. Individuals who maintain a 5 percent or greater direct or indirect ownership interest in a provider or supplier in the high risk category — including newly-enrolling home health agencies (HHAs) and newly-enrolling durable medical equipment, orthotics, prosthetics, and supplies (DMEPOS) suppliers — are subject to a fingerprint-based criminal history report check of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. While the final rule was effective March 25, 2011, as mandated by the ACA, CMS delayed the effective date of the fingerprint-based criminal history record check provision until after additional subregulatory guidance was issued. This announcement marks the latest steps in seemingly ever-escalating CMS efforts to clamp down on fraud and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Source/more: Lexology/Association of Corporate Counsel

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