On May 18, 2011, HRSA issued Program Assistance Letter (PAL) #2011-05: Calendar Year 2012 Requirements for Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Medical Malpractice Coverage for Health Centers, which includes instructions for grantees submitting either an initial deeming application or their annual redeeming application for FTCA coverage for CY 2012. This PAL can be accessed here . All applications must be submitted electronically through the HRSA Electronic Handbook (EHB) – redeeming applications are due by July 11, 2011. Initial deeming applications may be submitted at any time.
The new application significantly expands the submission requirements from prior years and provides a timeline for submitting additional information that may be requested by HRSA to complete the application (along with consequences if the grantee fails to submit such information on a timely basis). As such, grantees that have not yet reviewed the new PAL should do so immediately. Further, grantees should take care to make certain they have provided all the required supporting information with their applications thus avoiding the need to submit additional information after the fact.
As in prior years, each grantee must submit information about its Risk Management System; Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Plan (along with a copy of the plan); Credentialing System (along with a list of credentialed providers); and Professional Liability History. The new application also requires submission of the following documentation:
• Minutes from the last six QI/QA committee meetings;
• Minutes from the last six Board meetings reflecting oversight of QI/QA activities;
• Credentialing and privileging policies; and
• Clinical policies and procedures in the following areas: referral tracking, hospitalization tracking, x-ray tracking, and lab results tracking.
In addition to adding the newly expanded requirements, the new application also clarifies that if HRSA needs additional information from the grantee to complete the application, it will notify the grantee through the EHB and the grantee will have 10 business days from the notification date to provide the requested information. If the grantee fails to submit the information within that timeframe, the application will be considered incomplete, marked “VOID” in the EHB system, and returned to the grantee. If an FTCA application is voided, the grantee will be required to submit a new FTCA application for review and may not receive deemed status (i.e., FTCA coverage) prior to January 1, 2012. HRSA warns that grantees that do not submit a complete application are likely to experience a gap in coverage and should consider purchasing private insurance coverage.
HRSA will be hosting a technical assistance call to discuss the expanded requirements in the CY 2012 application on Wednesday, June 8, 2011. Grantees are urged to review the PAL carefully prior to the call, to participate in the call, and to use that opportunity to request clarification on any issues of concern. Information regarding the technical assistance call is below:
Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Time: 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Participant Passcode: 8854749
Instant Replay Phone Number: 1-800-337-5610
Slides for the call are available here.