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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
July 06, 2005

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
(609) 984-7160


 
DHSS Proposes New Rules At N.J.A.C. 8:31A to Govern Ambulatory Care Facility Assessment


 

††††††††† The Department of Health and Senior Services is proposing new rules at N.J.A.C. 8:31A, Ambulatory Care Facility Assessment, regarding assessments on certain categories of licensed ambulatory care facilities based on those facilitiesí annual gross receipts.

††††††††† These proposed new rules would implement P.L. 2004, c.54, which amends N.J.S.A. 26:2H-18.57 to require the Department to collect an assessment beginning in state fiscal year 2005.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 8:31A-1 would set forth general provisions that would apply to Chapter 31A, including the purpose and scope of the chapter and definitions of terms used throughout the chapter.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 8:31A-2 would establish the method for calculating the assessment, the procedure by which covered facilities must complete payment of the assessment, and the procedure by which covered facilities may appeal an assessment.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 8:31A-3 would address covered facilitiesí obligation to submit annual reports to the Department; the content and format of the annual reports; and the method for submitting the annual reports.In addition, the subchapter would establish the consequence to covered facilities for failing to adhere to deadlines†for submitting proof of gross receipts through the annual report, namely, that those covered facilities would be assessed the maximum amount†of $200,000 for the fiscal year.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 8:31A-3.1(e) would require compliance with a date in the past for submitting data and determining a default assessment for facilities not submitting data.The regulated community had advance notice of the deadline and the consequence of missing the deadline because the law was passed on June 29, 2004, more than two months prior to the September 15, 2004 deadline.The Department has been enforcing the law since its passage.As a result, the September 15, 2004 date is informational to provide comprehensive coverage on the issue of a timetable for the submission of annual reports as required by law, which includes not only the September 2004 deadline, but also deadlines for fiscal year 2006 and beyond.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 8:31A-3 also would address the Department's right to audit annual reports, explaining that if, upon audit, it is determined by the Department that a covered facility had understated its gross receipts in its annual report, the covered facility's assessment for the fiscal year that was based on the defective report would be retroactively increased by the Department to the appropriate amount and that the facility would be liable for a penalty in the amount set forth at proposed new N.J.A.C. 8:31A-4.1(c), namely, the difference between the original and corrected assessments.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 8:31A-4 would set forth the penalties under P.L. 2004, c.54, for failing to comply with proposed new N.J.A.C. 8:31A-3.1 (annual report); for operating one or more ambulatory care services listed in proposed new N.J.A.C. 8:31A-1.1(b) without a license from the Department; and for understating gross receipts in the annual report.Proposed new N.J.A.C. 8:31A-4.2 would direct the regulated community to proposed new N.J.A.C. 8:43E-3.2, 3.3, and 3.5, for procedural rules pertaining to enforcement by the Department of penalties under the proposed subchapter and the challenge of such enforcement actions.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 8:31A-4.1(b) would assess facilities double the assessment due if they operate without a required license as of July 1, 2004, a date in the past.The regulated community should have been aware, prior to that date, of licensure obligations; the law's and rule's provisions for double assessment of facilities operating without a required license strengthen the Department's ability to enforce the existing licensure requirements.The Department has been enforcing the law since its passage.As a result, the July 1, 2004 date is informational to address comprehensively the issue of double assessments for unlicensed ambulatory care facilities providing the services identified under 1.1(b) above.

The proposal appears in the July 5, 2005 issue of the New Jersey Register.The public has until September 3, 2005 to comment on the proposal.

Persons wishing to comment on the proposal must submit their comments in writing to Robert T. Neu, Director, Hospital Financial Reporting and Support, Health Care Quality and Oversight, Department of Health and Senior Services, P O Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360 Fax: (609)530-7452 Email: Robert.Neu@doh.state.nj.us, Delivery: Department of Health and Senior Services, 25 Scotch Road, Basement, Ewing, NJ 08628.

Written comments must be postmarked on or before September 3, 2005, which is the close of the 60-day public comment period.

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