Integrity cited for failing to report COVID data

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Integrity Healthcare of Columbia has received three citations from the Illinois Department of Public Health for failing a federal mandate to report data about coronavirus in its facility. 

According to a May 6 memo from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, all senior care facilities are required to report information including the number of, confirmed COVID-19 cases, suspected COVID-19 cases, COVID-19 deaths and total resident deaths to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Facilities also must report to residents and their representatives or families when someone at the facility gets coronavirus or three or more residents or staff start having respiratory symptoms within 72 hours of each other. 

Those rules went into effect immediately after the memo was published, but CMS gave a two-week grace period that ended May 24. If a facility was still not reporting by May 31, it would receive a warning letter reminding it to report to the CDC. 

The IDPH cited Integrity Healthcare of Columbia, located at 253 Bradington Drive, for the next three consecutive weeks, on June 8, 15 and 22, for failing to report this data to the CDC. 

“CMS determined that between June 8 and June 21 the facility did not report complete information to (the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network) about COVID-19 in the standardized format and frequency as specified by CMS and the CDC,” the IDPH wrote. “This failure to report has the potential to cause more than minimal harm to all residents residing in the facility.” 

By the week of June 28, Integrity Healthcare of Columbia appeared to have rectified its mistake and submitted a report for that week and all prior weeks.

“Facilities do have the ability to file retroactive reports, despite missing the original deadline,”CMS told the Republic-Times. “However, retroactive reporting does not preclude a facility from facing a (civil monetary penalty) for failing to report timely.”  

Those reports show the same thing the facility told the Republic-Times: it has had no COVID-19 cases. 

For failing to comply, the facility should have received a civil money penalty from CMS. Beginning the week of June 7, the CMS said in the memo it would impose a fine of $1,000 for one day for the failure to report the required data that week. Each subsequent week the facility did not complete its reporting, that penalty would be raised by $500. 

“A CMS has been issued against Integrity Healthcare of Columbia for reporting noncompliance,” CMS said. 

With the rising fine, the facility was penalized a total of $4,500. 

No plan of correction is required for facilities that did not comply with the reporting requirement.

CMS does allow for facilities to be excluded from reporting if resident cases and admissions combined is at least 50 percent more than total facility beds, resident deaths are at least 50 percent more than resident cases and admissions combined, resident deaths are at least 15 percent more than total facility beds or there are more than 25 cases or deaths. 

Integrity Healthcare of Columbia did not meet any of those criteria, though a spokesperson with CMS and IDPH each did not confirm that.

The facility did not return multiple requests for comment for this story. 

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