OIG inspects skilled nursing facilities reported staff hours

OIG inspectors recently reviewed records from a skilled nursing facility to determine if the hours of direct care provided by licensed nursing staff were accurately reported.

During the inspection, it was determined that Dallas-based Mira Vista Court had accurately reported hours worked on 77 percent of the 799 records under review. However, there was a concern about a lack of accounting for staff meal breaks. Nursing facilities must electronically submit payroll data to U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) through a web-based platform that documents payroll data. This submission includes each direct care staff member's category of work, hours of care provided by each category of staff, full resident census data and staff turnover and tenure information, including hours worked and length of employment.

To assist with their reporting requirements, Mira Vista Court utilizes an electronic timekeeping system that uses fingerprint scans to account for patient hours. Staff and supervisors also review the log weekly and verify there were no malfunctions in the program's documentation process. These reports are automatically submitted through the program to CMS. However, inspectors noted that there is room for error related to the meal break required of staff members working a shift of 16 hours.

According to the report, inspectors recommended the automated program be adjusted to deduct one hour for each 16-hour shift, noting that this change would align the facility's recording process with CMS requirements.