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As health centers prepare for their Virtual Operational Site Visit (VOSV), there is a lack of clarity as to how the review of Chapter 21 – Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Deeming Requirements of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Compliance Manual (Compliance Manual Chapter 21) is conducted. Additionally, there are questions regarding what happens to the reviewer responses and what role the responses play, as it relates to the compliance findings of the review.
The review of the FTCA Requirements regarding Risk and Claims Management is only completed for health centers that are currently FTCA deemed. Review of these requirements is conducted in a very similar manner as other requirements. Using a combination of document review and staff interviews, the Clinical Consultant responds to the questions outlined in the HRSA Site Visit Protocol (Site Visit Protocol FTCA). Although the responses to the review questions do not factor into compliance, they are reviewed by FTCA.
The FTCA Program utilizes the responses collected during the review to support FTCA deeming decisions and to identify any technical assistance needs the health center may have. In the event the responses included in the site visit report are those that require follow-up, FTCA may develop a Corrective Action Plan that requires follow-up by the health center.
With the submission deadline for the CY2022 FTCA Deeming Application quickly approaching (June 25, 2021), it is important for health centers to remember that any unresolved conditions related to Chapter 5 – Clinical Staffing (Chapter 5: Clinical Staffing), and Chapter 10 – Quality Improvement/Assurance (Chapter 10: Quality Improvement/Assurance) of the HRSA Health Center Compliance Manual may impact FTCA deeming if the conditions are not resolved when FTCA deeming decisions are made. Health centers in need of technical assistance in this area should contact their HRSA Federal Project Officer (PO).