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Participation in Medicare Requires Establishing & Maintaining Compliance with Civil Rights Requirements

Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 3:10 PM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Survey and Certification Memo with modifications to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) clearance process for new providers and Changes of Ownership (CHOW).

CMS and OCR worked together to develop a new procedure that requires providers to electronically submit an attestation of compliance with the civil rights requirements to the OCR before the State Survey Agencies (SA) and Regional Offices (RO) may process requests for initial surveys or CHOWs. As of September 1, 2016, OCR started receiving electronic attestations.

Prior to enrolling in Medicare or CHOW, a provider needs to establish and maintain compliance with civil rights requirements. The following steps are required:
• The SA is responsible for showing proof of the required OCR Certification Information Request Packet to all applicants for certification
• The provider must complete the forms within the packet and return them to the SA
• The SA sends the forms to the RO with the application packet

Once the documents are received, the RO forwards the appropriate forms to the OCR for processing and clearance. The OCR decides whether or not the documents adhere to compliance and will inform CMS of its determination. If the RO does not receive OCR clearance within 20 calendar days of submission, then it may issue a restricted provider agreement with a contingency clause.

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