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Rural Health Clinic Compliance 2013. Charles A. James, Jr. President and CEO North American Healthcare Management Services. Presentation Topics. Components of RHC Regulations and Inspections Annual Requirements RHC regulatory resources. Presentation Objectives.

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Rural Health Clinic Compliance 2013

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rural health clinic compliance 2013
Rural Health Clinic Compliance 2013

Charles A. James, Jr.

President and CEO

North American Healthcare Management Services 888.968.0076

presentation topics
Presentation Topics

Components of RHC Regulations and Inspections

Annual Requirements

RHC regulatory resources 888.968.0076

presentation objectives
Presentation Objectives

Determine Annual Requirements of the RHC program

Determine annual physical facility requirements

Determine compliance/staff education requirements

Review what to do for re-inspection 888.968.0076

is it the state or the feds
Is it the State or the Feds?

Short Answer – Both

The State Department of Health typically perform inspections. They are an agent of CMS for the purpose of an RHC survey.

CMS interprets and enforces the federal RHC regulations. CMS approves or denies the state’s recommendations. 888.968.0076

aaaasf and office team
AAAASF and Office Team

These are outside accreditation agencies approved by CMS to perform RHC survey and re-survey.

Think: The Joint Commission for RHCs.

There is an additional expense. 888.968.0076

the rules 42 cfr 491
The Rules - 42 CFR 491

This is the Code of Federal Regulations

(CFR) which stipulates rural health clinics’

conditions for certification. 888.968.0076

rural health clinic requirements
Rural Health Clinic Requirements
  • Compliance with Federal, State, and Local laws
  • Location of Clinic
  • Physical Plant and Environment
  • Organizational Structure
  • Staffing and Staff Responsibilities
  • Provision of Services
  • Policy and Procedure Manual
  • Medical Records
  • Annual Evaluation (vs. Quality Assurance) 888.968.0076

state operations manual
State Operations Manual

The SOM is the surveyor’s guide to an RHC inspection.

It contains detailed explanation of requirements for each compliance component.

This document can be found at: 888.968.0076

hrsa sample policy manual
HRSA Sample Policy Manual

Part of HRSA – Starting an RHC/ A how-to manual

Excellent resource for sample language

Contains samples of each section of policy manual

Health Resource and Services Administration

A link to the manual: 888.968.0076

rhc inspections
RHC Inspections
  • Rural Health Clinic Regulations and Survey Report (CMS – 30)
  • State Operations Manual – Appendix G
  • Inspector Interpretation 888.968.0076

compliance with federal state local laws
Compliance with Federal, State, Local Laws

The clinic must be in compliance with federal RHC regulations and Medicare law. (J3)

The clinic and staff are licensed pursuant to applicable State and local law. (J3 and J4)

The clinic building meets applicable building and fire codes. (J5) 888.968.0076

location of clinic j6 thru j18
Location of Clinic (J6 thru J18)

Must be in HPSA or MUA

For new certification – HPSA has to have been updated within the last four years

Must be rural – Use this search tool: 888.968.0076

physical plant and environment
Physical Plant and Environment

The clinic is constructed, arranged, and maintained to ensure access to and safety of patients, and provides adequate space for the provision of direct services. (J20) 888.968.0076

physical plant patient care equipment and drugs
Physical Plant: Patient Care Equipment and Drugs

The clinic has a preventive maintenance program to ensure that:

  • All essential mechanical, electrical and patient care equipment is maintained in safe operating condition;
  • Drugs and biologicals are appropriately stored;
  • The premises are clean and orderly. 888.968.0076

bio medical equipment inspection
Bio-medical Equipment Inspection

Ensure that the clinic has policies and documentation for equipment maintenance and inspection. (J22)

An annual bio-medical equipment inspection by is the gold standard. 888.968.0076

drugs and biologicals
Drugs and Biologicals

Drugs and biologicals are appropriately stored (J23) 888.968.0076

drug and biological storage to do
Drug and Biological Storage To Do

LOCK all drug storage locations!

Make sure all expired drugs are removed.

Document/schedule this activity monthly.

Documentation of review/removal activity should be available for review.

Multi-use vials marked w/ date of opening and disposed 30 days after opening. 888.968.0076

clean and tidy
Clean and Tidy

The premises are clean and tidy. (J24) 888.968.0076

facility appearance
Facility Appearance

The term “a clean and orderly environment” is explicit in the regulation.

A neat, well-kept appearance makes a dramatic difference in the success of any type of inspection. 888.968.0076

physical plant emergency preparedness
Physical Plant: Emergency Preparedness

Emergency procedures. The clinic assures the safety of patients in case of nonmedical emergencies by:

  • Training staff in handling emergencies
  • Placing exit signs in appropriate locations
  • Taking other appropriate measures that are consistent with the particular conditions of the area in which the clinic is located. (J25-J28) 888.968.0076

emergency preparedness j25
Emergency Preparedness – (J25)

Arrange an Annual Fire Inspection

Document Fire/Natural Disaster In-services (J26)

Post facility layout diagrams and exit routes (J27)

Assess emergencies other than just fire – i.e. earthquake, tornado, etc.(J28)

CPR certification for clinical (and administrative?) should be completed 888.968.0076

organizational structure
Organizational Structure

Define the organizational structure of the clinic.

Develop an organizational chart that reflects the clinic.

If the clinic is owned/managed by a hospital – that should be part of the chart. 888.968.0076

rhc staffing requirements j29
RHC Staffing Requirements (J29)

The clinic is under the direction of a physician. (J31)

The clinic must employ one or more nurse practitioners, physician assistants, or nurse- midwife. (J31)

The NP/PA must be available 50% of the time the clinic is open. (J41) 888.968.0076

rhc staffing requirements cont d
RHC Staffing Requirements (Cont’d)

A provider must be available to furnish services at all times during clinic hours. (J41)

One clinic physician must function as the Medical Director. (J46) 888.968.0076

physician responsibilities
Physician Responsibilities

The physician provides medical direction for the clinic’s health care activities and consultation for, and medical supervision of the health care staff. (J46) 888.968.0076

physician responsibilities1
Physician Responsibilities

In conjunction with the physician’s assistant and/or nurse practitioner member(s), the physician participates in developing, executing and periodically reviewing the clinic’s written policies and the services provided to Federal program patients; (J47) 888.968.0076

physician responsibilities2
Physician Responsibilities

The physician periodically reviews the clinic’s patient records, provides medical orders, and provides medical care services to the patients of the clinic. (J48) 888.968.0076

medical director responsibilities
Medical Director Responsibilities

A physician is present for sufficient periods of time, at least once in every 2 week period (except in extraordinary circumstances), to provide the medical direction, medical care services, consultation and supervision described in paragraph(b)(1) of this section, and, is available through direct telecommunication for consultation, assistance with medical emergencies, or patient referral. (J49) 888.968.0076

np pa responsibilities j50 j51
NP/PA Responsibilities (J50-J51)

participate in the development, execution and periodic review of the written policies governing the services the clinic furnishes; (provide services in accordance with those policies;

provide services in accordance with those policies; 888.968.0076

np pa responsibilities j50 j511
NP/PA Responsibilities (J50-J51)

arrange for, or refer patients to, needed services that cannot be provided at the clinic;

assure that adequate patient health records are maintained and transferred as required when patients are referred;

(v) participate with a physician in a periodic review of the patients’ health records. 888.968.0076

cms proposed rule 491 8 a iii
CMS Proposed Rule 491.8(a)(iii)

“ The physician assistant, nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife, clinical social

worker or clinical psychologist member of the staff may be the owner or an employee of

the clinic or center, or may furnish services under contract to the clinic or center. In the

case of a clinic, at least one physician assistants or nurse practitioner must be an employee of the clinic.” CMS Proposed Rule 888.968.0076

rhc staffing recommendations
RHC Staffing Recommendations

Do not open the clinic if no provider is present.

Post Clinic hours.

Make sure a provider (Doctor/APN/PA) is present during those hours.

Make sure the NP/PA staffing is 50% of posted PATIENT hours.

If NP/PA clinic, make sure the Medical Director is on-site every two weeks, provides some patient care, and signs charts. 888.968.0076

collaborative physician requirements
Collaborative Physician Requirements

The responsibilities of the clinic Medical Director are different than the requirements for collaboration with Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants.

Reviewing and counter-signing charts for the NP/PA is a requirement collaborative agreement. 888.968.0076

rhc policy manual requirement
RHC Policy Manual Requirement

Written policies should consist of both administrative and patient care policies.

In addition to including lines of authority and responsibilities, administrative policies may cover topics such as personnel, fiscal, purchasing, and maintenance of building and equipment. 888.968.0076

patient care policies
Patient Care Policies

The clinic is primarily engaged in providing outpatient health services as described in §481.9 (c). (J53)

The clinic’s health care services are furnished in accordance with appropriate written policies which are consistent with applicable State law. (J55)

The policies are developed with the advice of a group of professional personnel that includes one or more physicians and one or more physician’s assistants or nurse practitioners. At least one member of the group is not a member of the clinic’s staff. (J56) 888.968.0076

patient care policies j57
Patient Care Policies (J57)

The RHC Policy Manual must include:

  • a description of services furnished directly and those furnished by arrangement;
  • guidelines for the medical management of health problems, including conditions for referral and consultation;
  • guidelines for storage of drugs and biologicals. 888.968.0076

description of services
Description of Services

“Such statements as the following sufficiently describe services: Taking complete medical histories, performing complete physical examinations, assessments of health status, routine lab tests…”

“Statements such as ‘complete management of common acute and chronic health problems’ standing alone, do not sufficiently describe services.” (CMS State Operations Manual) 888.968.0076

written policies and procedures
Written Policies and Procedures

The clinic must be able to provide written documentation of clinic policies.

It ‘must be possible to ascertain who developed them’.

If the personnel have changed since originally developed, then the doctor, APN, and/or PA must have in-depth knowledge of the policies… 888.968.0076

provision of services
Provision of Services

The clinic staff furnishes those diagnostic and therapeutic services and supplies that are commonly furnished in a physician’s office or at the entry point into the health care delivery system. These include medical history, physical examination, assessment of health status, and treatment for a variety of medical conditions. (J60) 888.968.0076

guidelines for medical mgmt
Guidelines for Medical Mgmt

Scope of Services for APN/PA are critical.

These represent an agreement between the APN/PA which stipulate medical direction, and designate their privileges and limits of medical diagnosis and treatment.

Track APN/PA collaboration/supervision!

Confirm/assess state collaborative requirements. 888.968.0076

drugs and biological policies
Drugs and Biological Policies

Policies must stipulate requirements for dealing with:

  • All drug storage locations are locked;
  • Storage of drug samples,
  • dealing with outdated medications,
  • Securing and accounting for Schedule II drugs.
  • Others…(See SOM) 888.968.0076

policy review
Policy Review

It MUST be documented that the Medical Director and APN/PA review all policies annually. This is absolutely mission critical.

This can be achieved by signing and dating the manual annually!! 888.968.0076

rhc manual recommendations
RHC Manual Recommendations

Review all job descriptions and make sure they are accurate.

Make sure that an annual policy review/update is documented. Include the physician/np/outside member! 888.968.0076

rhc manual recommendations1
RHC Manual Recommendations

Organize Manual according to RHC regulations.

Document/demonstrate physician involvement.

Keep business, personnel, and medical licenses current!!

Make sure that patient care and administrative polices are included and current!

Maintain the organizational chart.

Assign one person and an alternate responsibility for the manual in case of inspection. 888.968.0076

provision of services lab j61
Provision of Services – Lab (J61)
  • An RHC must have the ability to perform the following lab tests:
    • Blood Sugar
    • Hemoglobin or Hematocrit
    • Pregnancy
    • Urinalysis – Dipstick
    • Occult Blood 888.968.0076

lab ppm
Lab - PPM

Provider-Performed Microscopy

This means being licensed by CLIA to use a microscope in the office.

Short answer – if you are using a microscope, be sure your CLIA license says this. 888.968.0076

emergency kit
Emergency Kit

The clinic provides medical emergency procedures as a first response to common life-threatening injuries and acute illness, and has available the drugs and biologicals commonly used in life saving procedures, such as analgesics, anesthetics (local), antibiotics, anticonvulsants, antidotes and emetics, serums and toxoids. (J62) 888.968.0076

sample emergency drugs
Sample Emergency Drugs

Analgesics - ASA, Tylenol, Aleve

Anesthetics - Xylocaine, Lidocaine

Antibiotics - Rocephin

Anticonvulsants - Valium, Cerebyx

Antidotes - EpiPenR and EpiPenR Jr Auto-Injectors, Epinephrine

Emetics - Activated Charcoal/911

Serums/toxoids - Vaccines, Tetanus 888.968.0076

provision of service recommendations
Provision of Service Recommendations

An emergency kit is required – a defibrillator is not (yet).

Make sure the clinic can perform a Hemoglobin or Hematocrit and that your supplies are current.

The RHC must be able to admit to a hospital - or have a written agreement with someone who can. 888.968.0076

in patient services and specialists j62
In-Patient Services and Specialists (J62)

The clinic has agreements or arrangements with one or more providers or suppliers participating under Medicare or Medicaid to furnish other services to its patients, including:

(i) inpatient hospital care;

(ii) physician(s) services (whether furnished in the hospital, the office, the patient’s home, a skilled nursing facility, or elsewhere); and

(iii) additional and specialized diagnostic and laboratory services that are not available at the clinic. 888.968.0076

services by arrangement j64
Services by Arrangement (J64)
  • Additional services, furnished through referral, are sufficiently described in such statements as:
    • Arrangements have been made with ‘X’ hospital,
    • specialized diagnostic and laboratory testing, specialized therapy, inpatient hospital care, physician services,
    • outpatient and emergency care when clinic is not operating,
    • referral for medical cause when clinic is operating.

State Operations Manual – Appendix G 888.968.0076

other manual components
Other Manual Components

Documentation of Compliance with clinic and personnel licensure requirements

Document all nursing licenses/ CPR certifications.

Patient Referral Policies

After-Hours Coverage Policies

Hospital Privileges

Fiscal/Purchasing Policies

Medical Record Policies (Confidentiality, Safeguards from Loss, 888.968.0076

medical records
Medical Records

The clinic maintains a clinical record system in accordance with written policies and procedures. (J68)

A designated member of the professional staff is responsible for maintaining the records and for ensuring that they are completely and accurately documented, readily accessible, and systematically organized. (J69) 888.968.0076

medical records content j70
Medical Records – Content (J70)

For each patient receiving health care services, the clinic maintains a record that includes, as applicable:

(i) identification and social data, evidence of consent forms, pertinent medical history, assessment of the health status and health care needs of the patient, and a brief summary of the episode, disposition, and instructions to the patient;

(ii) Reports of physical examinations, diagnostic and laboratory test results, and consultative findings; 888.968.0076

medical records orders and signatures
Medical Records – Orders and Signatures

(iii) all physician’s orders, reports of treatments and medications and other pertinent information necessary to monitor the patient’s progress;

(iv) signatures of the physician or other health care professional. 888.968.0076

protection retention personnel

Protection of record information. (J71)

  • The clinic maintains the confidentiality of record information and provides safeguards against loss, destruction or unauthorized use.
  • Written policies and procedures govern the use and removal or records from the clinic and the conditions for release of information.
  • the patient’s written consent is required for release of information not authorized by law. 888.968.0076

retention of records
Retention of Records

The records are retained for at least 6 years from date of last entry, and longer if required by State statute. (J75) 888.968.0076

medical record recommendations
Medical Record Recommendations

Maintain individual patient charts.

Use problem and medication lists.

Physician writing must be legible. (if applicable)

No financial data in charts. (Insurance info is OK)

Must have written policies regarding retention, confidentiality, and release of information.

A designated staff member should be assigned responsibility for overseeing medical records. 888.968.0076

annual review of policies
Annual Review of Policies

The group of professional personnel, which can be the governing body acting as the group, is responsible for an annual review of patient care policies. (CMS State Operations Manual) 888.968.0076

annual evaluation current rules
Annual Evaluation – Current Rules

MMA calls for the Annual Evaluation to be replaced by a Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement program (QAPI).

Technically, the Annual Evaluation is still the operative rule.

Some states allow QAPI to replace the Annual Evaluation.

Do not leave out the remaining Annual components. 888.968.0076

annual evaluation
Annual Evaluation

VIII. §481.11 Program evaluation -

(a) The clinic carries out, or arranges for, an annual evaluation of its total program. (J77)

(b) The evaluation includes review of: (J78)

(1) the utilization of clinic services, including at least the number of patients served and the volume of services; (J79)

(2) a representative sample of both active and closed clinical records, and; (J80)

(3) the clinic’s health care policies. (J81) 888.968.0076

annual evaluation1
Annual Evaluation

(c) The purpose of the evaluation is to determine whether: (J82)

(1) the utilization of services was appropriate; (J83)

(2) the established policies were followed; and (J84)

(3) any changes are needed. (J85)

(d) The clinic staff considers the findings of the evaluation and takes corrective action if necessary. (J86) 888.968.0076

annual evaluation content
Annual Evaluation - Content

Use patient count from the cost report.

Review each component of the RHC regulation.

Make sure active and closed records are reviewed.

Document and follow up on corrective action for deficient areas!

Make sure it’s signed.

Do the annual evaluation…annually! 888.968.0076

quality assurance employee education
Quality Assurance/ Employee Education

Does your clinic have any type of quality assurance/employee education.

What is your mechanism for documenting employee education?

Document Monthly or Quarterly In-services for fire/natural disaster in-services, etc. 888.968.0076

annual evaluation participants
Annual Evaluation - Participants
  • Can be performed in parts throughout the year.
  • Make sure the Annual Evaluation policy includes an Executive Committee, which includes the
    • Medical Director
    • NP/PA
    • Administrator or Office Manager
    • Outside Community Member 888.968.0076

annual to do list
Annual To-Do List

Make SURE the medical director and NP/PA have signed the manual ANNUALLY!!

Insert all CURRENT medical personnel licenses in manual.

Insert all current medical malpractice, building, and liability insurance certificates.

Make sure that NP/PA hours equal at least 50% of posted clinic hours.

Post NP/PA hours to make it official. 888.968.0076

to do list ii
To Do List II

Make sure personnel on organizational chart are current.

Have an Annual Fire Inspection (if you can).

Make sure all staff is CPR certified.

Document annual fire/natural disaster in-services.

Bio-medical equipment inspection - the 110% solution.

Make sure no emergency drugs are expired. 888.968.0076

annual to do list iii
Annual To-Do List III

Drug storage locations are locked.

Drug sample storage and expirations have been reviewed and activity logged.

Multi-use vials – mark date of opening and dispose of 30 days after opening.

Make sure that all lab supplies are current that that all tests can be performed.

Make sure you have Annual Evaluations/ Medical Record reviews documented. 888.968.0076

re inspections

Take a second – catch your breath – police the clinic. Panic is not an option.

Be nice, not argumentative.

If you don’t know, say that you’ll confirm and come right back.

Know where your manual is!

Assign an alternate in your absence.

Be transparent – but let the inspector ask the questions. 888.968.0076

rhc compliance bare minimum
RHC Compliance – Bare Minimum

Manual signed by Doc and NP/PA

All five lab tests (Check the Hemocue!)

Emergency Drugs complete

Make sure that all lab supplies are current that that all tests can be performed.

Make sure you have Annual Evaluations/ Medical Record reviews documented. 888.968.0076

cms resources
CMS Resources

Main Site –

State Operations Manual –

Sample RHC Manual:

CMS Rural Health Center – 888.968.0076

more cms resources
More CMS Resources

Medicare Claims Processing Manual – UB04 Completion

Medicare Claims Processing Manual – Chapter 9 RHC/FQHC Coverage Issues

MedLearn Catalog 888.968.0076

where to find the rules
Where to find the rules…

This presentation, the State Operations Manual, and the RHC Survey report will be posted at: 888.968.0076

contact information
Contact Information

Charles A. James, Jr.

North American Healthcare Management Services

President and CEO

888.968.0076 888.968.0076