Author: Benjamin Lindeman

Celebrating Nurse Assistants

Let’s take a moment to celebrate some of the unsung heroes of our healthcare industry! Let’s celebrate Nurse Assistants! 

We have been celebrating Nurse Assistants for the past couple months due to Covid-19, but did you know there is a true nurse assistant holiday that has been alive since 1977? It starts with a day of appreciation on the Thursday of the second full week of June followed by celebration for another 6 days. 

How did this celebration start? The CNA profession started the same time that World War I started. These CNA’s served alongside Army Nurses and helped in many areas such as hospitals, the army field and reserve, and the bases as well. It wasn’t until six decades later that CNA’s really blossomed as President Ronald Regan signed the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1987 which was an act to improve nursing homes. Now we see CNA’s everywhere and because of their hard work, they get a whole week dedicated to them every year.  

What positions or titles count as nurses assistants? There are many different titles and positions given and all of them are equally important to one another. We all know the Nursing Assistant, but do we think about Nurse Aides? Other titles include Direct Care Worker, Health Care Assistant, Personal Care Assistant, Hospice Aide, and many other titles. They all have one purpose which is to take care of people so be sure to remember these titles and go show your appreciation to someone you know. 

How can we celebrate these nurses? How can we show that we see them and know how important their role is? If you work in a hospital or somewhere alongside CNA’s, host a hospital wide event for them. Get the whole staff involved by making pins or buttons for everyone’s uniforms. Bring your local city leaders to their workplace and let the CNA’s know how much they help the community. Doing these things let them know we care about them and it will motivate them to perform even better. 

What are some ways we can say “Thank You” to the CNA’s? A great way to do that is on social media. Post an appreciation post or photo for someone you know who is a CNA or just about CNA’s in general. Getting the word out like that will make everyone want to thank them. You can also have your clubs, workplace, or other groups take a little time to write thank you notes and letters. Let them know you really care and are grateful for all they do. 

There are many other things I could talk about, but I just want everyone to remember CNA’s and what they do for us. If you take anything away from this, I hope you take these 3 things: 

  • Go learn about THEM and their history
  • Make time to recognize THEM and the hard work they do every day
  • Say “Thank You” to THEM every chance you get

They deserve our love because without THEM, our healthcare would be affected immensely.

https://www.joincake.com/blog/national-nursing-assistants-week/
https://cna-network.org/2020/04/25/42nd-annual-national-nursing-assistants-week/

OIG Code Descriptions

How do we understand the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) and the different codes that they use?  Codes are used for many purposes, and OIG uses many different codes for many different things. When we see codes, we look at it and say something like “what does that mean?”  We want to focus on codes that OIG uses for excluded individuals, or individuals who have been excluded from Medicare, Medicaid, and other state and federal healthcare programs. We hope this makes it so that the next time you see a code by someone’s name, you will understand why they have been excluded. There are 2 categories of exclusions we will talk about. Mandatory and Permissive exclusions.

Mandatory Exclusions: OIG is required by law to exclude the person or entity from all federal healthcare programs. Mandatory Exclusions can be imposed only for these 6 reasons:

  • 1128(a)(1): This code means that the person or entity has been convicted for a program related crime. The exclusion will last for a minimum of 5 years. 
  • 1128(a)(2): This code means that the person or entity has been convicted for something related to patient abuse or neglect. The exclusion will last for a minimum of 5 years.
  • 1128(a)(3): This code means that the person or entity has been convicted for something related to health care fraud. The exclusion will last for a minimum of 5 years. 
  • 1128(a)(4): This code means that the person or entity has been convicted for something related to a controlled substance. The exclusion will last for a minimum of 5 years.
  • 1128(c)(30(G)(i): This code means that the person or entity has been convicted for a 2nd time. The exclusion will last for a minimum of 10 years.
  • 1128(c)(3)(G)(ii): This code means the person or entity has been convicted 3 or more times. The exclusion will be permanent. 

Permissive Exclusions: OIG can choose for themselves to exclude people and entities. These are all the reasons they can choose to exclude an individual or entity: 

  • 1128(b)(1)(A): This code means that the person or entity has had a misdemeanor conviction that is related to health care fraud. The exclusion will have a Baseline period of 3 years (Starting point to check progress of the individual or entity).
  • 1128(b)(1)(B): This code means that the person or entity has been convicted for fraudulent activity in non-health care programs. The exclusion will have a Baseline period of 3 years (Starting point to check progress of the individual or entity).
  • 1128(b)(2) This code means that the person or entity has been convicted for obstruction of an audit or an investigation. The exclusion will have a Baseline period of 3 years (Starting point to check progress of the individual or entity).
  • 1128(b)(3) This code means that the person or entity has had a misdemeanor related to a controlled substance. The exclusion will have a Baseline period of 3 years (Starting point to check progress of the individual or entity).
  • 1128(b)(4) This code means that the person or entity’s license has been revoked, suspended, or surrendered. The exclusion will last however long the state license authority imposes.
  • 1128(b)(5) This code means that the person or entity has been excluded or suspended under a state or federal health care program. The exclusion will last no less than whatever the state or federal program imposes. 
  • 1128(b)(6) This code means that the person or entity claims for excessive charges, unnecessary services or services that fail to meet professionally recognized standards of healthcare, or failure of an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) to furnish medically necessary services. The exclusion period will last for a minimum of 1 year. 
  • 1128(b)(7) This code means that the person or entity has commited fraud, kickback (bribery), or other activities that are prohibited. The exclusion period has no minimum.
  • 1128(b)(8) This code means that there is an entity that is being controlled by a sanctioned person. The exclusion period minimum is the same length as the exclusion of the individual. 
  • 1128(b)(8)(A) This code means that the entity is being controlled by a family or household member of an individual who has been excluded and the ownership or control of the entity has been transferred or passed to someone else. The exclusion period minimum is the same length as the exclusion of the individual. 
  • 1128(b)(9), (10), and (11) This code means that the person or entity failed to disclose required information, supply the requested information on suppliers and subcontractors, or supply the payment information. The exclusion period has no minimum. 
  • 1128(b)(12) This code means that the person or entity failed to grant immediate access. The exclusion period has no minimum.
  • 1128(b)(13) This code means that the person or entity failed to take corrective action. The exclusion period has no minimum.
  • 1128(b)(14) This code means that a person or entity defaulted on their education loans or scholarship obligations. The exclusion period minimum is until the default or obligation has been resolved. 
  • 1128(b)(15) This code means that a person is controlling a sanctioned entity. The exclusion period minimum is the same length as the exclusion of the entity. 
  • 1128(b)(16) This code means that a person or entity is making false statements or misrepresenting material facts. The exclusion period has no minimum. 
  • 1156 This code means that the person or entity failed to meet statutory obligations of practitioners and providers to provide medical services that meet professionally recognized standards of healthcare. The exclusion period minimum is 1 year. 

We hope that after reading this that OIG codes make more sense to you now. We don’t expect you to memorize them but we do hope that these help you when it comes to choosing an individual or entity for a job or other things related to healthcare. 

References:

  1. https://oig.hhs.gov/exclusions/authorities.asp
  2. https://oig.hhs.gov/exclusions/background.asp