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(1) The state survey agency shall not interfere with the right of a facility to request an informal dispute resolution.

(2) The state survey agency must give the facility notice of the facility's right to request informal dispute resolution at the same time that written deficiency citation(s) findings are sent. This notice must inform the facility of:

(a) the name, address and telephone number of the person the facility must contact to request informal dispute resolution;

(b) the specific information that must be contained in the facility request for informal dispute resolution, as specified in ARM 37.5.606;

(c) the name and/or the position title of the person who will conduct the informal dispute resolution, if known; and

(d) a statement that the facility must inform the presiding official of its intent to be represented by legal counsel as specified in ARM 37.5.606(4).

(3) Upon written request of the facility, the state survey agency must mail supporting documentation used in reaching its deficiency citation(s) to the facility and the presiding official. This documentation must be received or postmarked no later than seven calendar days prior to any scheduled telephone or in person conference, or prior to the deadline set by the presiding official for receipt of substantiating materials in the case of a record review. The facility must specify each disputed deficiency for which it is requesting supporting documentation. Information will only be provided for disputed deficiencies. The state survey agency may charge the facility $.20 per page to cover the cost of retrieving, copying and mailing this information. There will not be a charge if fewer than 20 pages are produced.

(4) The state survey agency shall review and take into consideration the information submitted by the facility prior to the informal dispute resolution. The state survey agency shall notify both the facility and the presiding official prior to the informal dispute resolution conference of any changes to the deficiency citation(s) or scope and severity classification(s) it intends to make.

(5) Following informal dispute resolution, the state survey agency shall take one or more of the following actions in accordance with the written recommendation of the presiding official or the written determination of CMS:

(a) an existing deficiency citation may be amended, modified, deleted, or remain unchanged;

(b) the scope and severity of an existing deficiency citation may be changed;

(c) different or additional deficiency citations may be cited; or

(d) an existing deficiency may be cited under a different tag.

(6) If a deficiency is deleted:

(a) the deficiency must be signed, dated and marked "deleted" by the state survey agency and any enforcement action(s) recommended or imposed solely because of that deficiency must be rescinded. In addition, the scope and severity classification is adjusted to reflect only the remaining findings; or

(b) the facility may request a new written deficiency citation form that does not have the deleted deficiencies printed on it. The clean form must have the remaining applicable plan of correction placed upon it and be signed by the facility's representative before it can replace the original in the facility's public file. If a clean, signed plan of correction is not provided, the original deficiency citation form with the signed plan of correction may be disclosed.

(7) If the state survey agency disagrees with the determination of the presiding official, the state survey agency may, but is not required to, include with its official recommendation to the CMS or to the State Medicaid Agency a written statement stating that it disagrees with the determination of the presiding official, and specifying the reason(s) why it disagrees. A copy of this statement must also be sent to the facility and the presiding official.

History: 53-6-109, 53-6-113, MCA; IMP, 53-6-109, 53-6-113, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 736, Eff. 4/9/04.

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