63 FR 35115, June 26, 1998, unless otherwise noted.
(a) The following intermediate sanctions may be imposed and will continue in effect until CMS is satisfied that the deficiencies that are the basis for the sanction determination have been corrected and are not likely to recur:
(1) Suspension of the MA organization's enrollment of Medicare beneficiaries.
(2) Suspension of payment to the MA organization for Medicare beneficiaries enrolled after the date CMS notifies the organization of the intermediate sanction.
(3) Suspension of communication activities to Medicare beneficiaries by an MA organization, as defined by CMS.
(b) CMS may impose civil money penalties as specified in 422.760.
(a) All intermediate sanctions. For the violations listed in this paragraph, CMS may impose one or more of the sanctions specified in § 422.750(a) of this subpart on any MA organization with a contract. The MA organization may also be subject to other remedies authorized under law.
(1) Fails substantially to provide medically necessary items and services that are required (under law or under the contract) to be provided to an individual covered under the contract, if the failure has adversely affected (or has the substantial likelihood of adversely affecting) the individual.
(2) Imposes on MA enrollees premiums in excess of the monthly basic and supplemental beneficiary premiums permitted under section 1854 of the Act and subpart F of this part.
(3) Acts to expel or refuses to re-enroll a beneficiary in violation of the provisions of this part.
(4) Engages in any practice that would reasonably be expected to have the effect of denying or discouraging enrollment (except as permitted by this part) by eligible individuals with the organization whose medical condition or history indicates a need for substantial future medical services.
(5) Misrepresents or falsifies information that it furnishes -
(i) To CMS; or
(ii) To an individual or to any other entity.
(6) Fails to comply with the requirements of § 422.206, which prohibits interference with practitioners' advice to enrollees.
(7) Fails to comply with § 422.216, which requires the organization to enforce the limit on balance billing under a private fee-for service plan.
(8) Employs or contracts with an individual or entity who is excluded from participation in Medicare under section 1128 or 1128A of the Act (or with an entity that employs or contracts with such an excluded individual or entity) for the provision of any of the following:
(i) Health care.
(ii) Utilization review.
(iii) Medical social work.
(iv) Administrative services.
(9) Except as provided under § 423.34 of this chapter, enrolls an individual in any plan under this part without the prior consent of the individual or the designee of the individual.
(10) Transfers an individual enrolled under this part from one plan to another without the prior consent of the individual or the designee of the individual or solely for the purpose of earning a commission.
(11) Fails to comply with communication restrictions described in subpart V of this part or applicable implementing guidance.
(b) Suspension of enrollment and communications. If CMS makes a determination that could lead to a contract termination under § 422.510(a), CMS may impose the intermediate sanctions at § 422.750(a)(1) and (3).
(c) Civil Money Penalties.
(1) CMS. In addition to, or in place of, any intermediate sanctions, CMS may impose civil money penalties in the amounts specified in the following:
(d) Special rule for non-compliant dual eligible special needs plans. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, CMS must impose during plan years 2021 through 2025 intermediate sanctions specified at § 422.750(a) on an MA organization with a contract to operate a dual eligible special needs plan if CMS determines that the dual eligible special needs plan fails to comply with at least one of the criteria for the integration of Medicare and Medicaid benefits provided in the definition of a dual eligible special needs plan at § 422.2. If CMS imposes such an intermediate sanction, the MA organization must submit to CMS a corrective action plan in a form, manner, and timeframe established by CMS. The procedures outlined in § 422.756 apply to the imposition of the intermediate sanction under this provision.
[63 FR 35115, June 26, 1998; 63 FR 52614, Oct. 1, 1998, as amended at 69 FR 78338, Dec. 30, 2004; 70 FR 4741, Jan. 28, 2005; 70 FR 52027, Sept. 1, 2005; 72 FR 68725, Dec. 5, 2007; 75 FR 19814, Apr. 15, 2010; 79 FR 29959, May 23, 2014; 81 FR 80557, Nov. 15, 2016; 83 FR 16734, Apr. 16, 2018; 84 FR 15839, April 16, 2019]
(a) Notice of intermediate sanction and opportunity to respond -
(1) Notice of intent. Before imposing the intermediate sanction, CMS -
(i) Sends a written notice to the MA organization stating the nature and basis of the proposed intermediate sanction and the MA organization's right to a hearing as specified in paragraph (b) of this section; and
(ii) Sends the OIG a copy of the notice.
(2) Opportunity to respond. CMS allows the MA organization 10 calendar days after receipt of the notice to provide a written rebuttal. CMS considers receipt of the notice as the day after notice is sent by fax, e-mail, or submitted for overnight mail.
(1) The MA organization may request a hearing before a CMS hearing officer.
(2) A written request must be received by the designated CMS office within 15 calendar days after the receipt of the notice.
(3) A request for a hearing under § 422.660 does not delay the date specified by CMS when the sanction becomes effective.
(4) The MA organization must follow the right to a hearing procedure as specified at subpart N of this part..
(c) Effective date and duration of sanctions -
(1) Effective date. The effective date of the sanction is the date specified by CMS in the notice.
(2) Exception. If CMS determines that the MA organization's conduct poses a serious threat to an enrollee's health and safety, CMS may make the sanction effective on an earlier date that CMS specifies.
(3) Duration of sanction. The sanction remains in effect until CMS is satisfied that the deficiencies that are the basis for the sanction determination have been corrected and are not likely to recur.
(i) CMS may require that the MA organization hire an independent auditor to provide CMS with additional information to determine if the deficiencies that are the basis for the sanction determination have been corrected and are not likely to recur. The independent auditor must work in accordance with CMS specifications and must be willing to attest that a complete and full independent review has been performed.
(ii) In instances where intermediate sanctions have been imposed, CMS may require an MA organization to market or to accept enrollments or both for a limited period of time in order to assist CMS in making a determination as to whether the deficiencies that are the bases for the intermediate sanctions have been corrected and are not likely to recur.
(A) If, following this time period, CMS determines the deficiencies have not been corrected or are likely to recur, the intermediate sanctions will remain in effect until such time that CMS is assured the deficiencies have been corrected and are not likely to recur.
(B) The MA organization does not have a right to a hearing under § 422.660(a)(4) of this part to challenge CMS' determination to keep the intermediate sanctions in effect.
(C) During the limited time period, sanctioned sponsoring organizations offering Part D plans under the benchmark that would normally participate in the annual and monthly auto enrollment process for enrollees receiving the low income subsidy will not be allowed to receive or process these types of enrollments.
(d) Non-renewal or termination by CMS. In addition to or as an alternative to the sanctions described in § 422.750, CMS may -
(1) Decline to authorize the renewal of an organization's contract in accordance with § 422.506(b); or
(2) Terminate the contract in accordance with § 422.510.
(e) Notice to impose civil money penalties -
(1) CMS notice to OIG. If CMS determines that an MA organization has failed to comply with a requirement as described in 422.752, CMS notifies the OIG of this determination. OIG may impose a civil money penalty upon an MA organization as specified at 422.752(c)(2).
(2) CMS notice of civil money penalties to MA organizations. If CMS makes a determination to impose a CMP as described in 422.752(c)(1), CMS will send a written notice of the Agency's decision to impose a civil money penalty to include -
(i) A description of the basis for the determination.
(ii) The basis for the penalty.
(iii) The amount of the penalty.
(iv) The date the penalty is due.
(v) The MA organization's right to a hearing under subpart T of this part.
(vi) Information about where to file the request for hearing.
[63 FR 35113, June 26, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 50859, Aug. 22, 2003; 70 FR 4741, Jan. 28, 2005; 72 FR 68725, Dec. 5, 2007; 73 FR 55764, Sept. 26, 2008; 75 FR 19814, Apr. 15, 2010; 79 FR 29959, May 23, 2014]
(a) When an MA organization does not request a hearing, CMS initiates collection of the civil money penalty following the expiration of the timeframe for requesting an ALJ hearing as specified in subpart T of this part.
(b) If an MA organization requests a hearing and CMS' decision to impose a civil money penalty is upheld, CMS may initiate collection of the civil money penalty once the administrative decision is final.
[72 FR 68726, Dec. 5, 2007]
(a) Determining the appropriate amount of any penalty. In determining the amount of penalty imposed under 422.752(c)(1), CMS will consider as appropriate:
(1) The nature of the conduct;
(2) The degree of culpability of the MA organization;
(3) The adverse effect to enrollees which resulted or could have resulted from the conduct of MA organization;
(4) The financial condition of the MA organization;
(5) The history of prior offenses by the MA organization or principals of the MA organization; and,
(6) Such other matters as justice may require.
(b) Amount of penalty imposed by CMS. CMS may impose civil money penalties in the following amounts:
(1) If the deficiency on which the determination is based has directly adversely affected (or has the substantial likelihood of adversely affecting) one or more MA enrollees - up to $25,000 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 for each determination.
(2) If the deficiency on which the determination is based has directly adversely affected (or has the substantial likelihood of adversely affecting) one or more MA enrollees, CMS may calculate a CMP of up to $25,000 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 for each MA enrollee directly adversely affected (or with the substantial likelihood of being adversely affected) by a deficiency.
(i) Definitions for calculating penalty amounts -
(A) Per determination. The penalty amounts calculated under paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
(B) Per enrollee. The penalty amounts calculated under paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
(C) Standard minimum penalty. The per enrollee or per determination penalty amount that is dependent on the type of adverse impact that occurred.
(D) Aggravating factor(s). Specific penalty amounts that may increase the per enrollee or per determination standard minimum penalty and are determined based on criteria under paragraph (a) of this section.
(E) Cost-of-living multiplier. The percent change between each year's published October consumer price index for all urban consumers (United States city average), which is released by The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) annually.
(ii) Calculation of minimum penalty amounts.
(A) Per determination and per enrollee minimum penalty amounts are increased by multiplying the current standard minimum penalty and aggravating factor amounts by the cost-of-living multiplier.
(B) The minimum penalty and aggravating factor amounts is updated no more often than every 3 years.
(C) CMS tracks the calculation and accrual of the standard minimum penalty and aggravating factor amounts and announces them on an annual basis.
(4) For each week that a deficiency remains uncorrected after the week in which the MA organization receives CMS' notice of the determination - up to $10,000 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102.
(5) If CMS makes a determination that a MA organization has terminated its contract other than in a manner described under 422.512 and that the MA organization has therefore failed to substantially carry out the terms of the contract - $250 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 per Medicare enrollee from the terminated MA plan or plans at the time the MA organization terminated its contract, or $100,000 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102, whichever is greater.
(c) Amount of penalty imposed by CMS or OIG. CMS or the OIG may impose civil money penalties in the following amounts for a determination made under § 422.752(a):
(1) Civil money penalties of not more than $25,000 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 for each determination made.
(2) With respect to a determination made under § 422.752(a)(4) or (a)(5)(i), not more than $100,000 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 foreach such determination, except with respect to a determination made under § 422.752(a)(5), an assessment of not more than the amount claimed by such plan or MA organization based upon the misrepresentation or falsified information involved.
(3) Plus with respect to a determination made under § 422.752(a)(2), double the excess amount charged in violation of such paragraph (and the excess amount charged must be deducted from the penalty and returned to the individual concerned).
For civil money penalties imposed by CMS, CMS may settle civil money penalty cases at any time before a final decision is rendered.
[72 FR 68726, Dec. 5, 2007]
The provisions of section 1128A of the Act (except subsections (a) and (b)) apply to civil money penalties under this subpart to the same extent that they apply to a civil money penalty or procedure under section 1128A of the Act.