Avoiding a penalty!
After your facility has an inspection performed you will have an exit interview and learn of any deficiencies that the surveying team may have found. These citations are classified into three different levels by the SC DHEC with varying penalties issued for each instance. Many times, you will be able to fix the issue immediately or submit a plan of correction to avoid further repercussions. Unfortunately, based upon the severity of citation there may be situations where you must pay a fine.
- Violation Classifications.
Violations of standards in this regulation are classified as follows:
- Class, I violations are those that the Department determines to present an imminent danger to the health, safety, or well-being of the persons in the facility or a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result therefrom. A physical condition or one or more practices, means, methods, or operations in use in a facility may constitute such a violation. The condition or practice constituting a class I violation shall be abated or eliminated immediately unless a fixed period of time, as stipulated by the Department, is required for correction. Each day such violation exists after expiration of the time established by the Department shall be considered a subsequent violation.
- Class II violations are those, other than Class I violations, that the Department determines to have a negative impact on the health, safety, or well-being of persons in the facility. The citation of a Class II violation shall specify the time within which the violation is required to be corrected. Each day such violation exists after the expiration of this time shall be considered a subsequent violation.
- Class III violations are those that are not classified as Class I or II in these regulations or those that are against the best practices as interpreted by the Department. The citation of a Class III violation shall specify the time within which the violation is required to be corrected. Each day such violation exists after the expiration of this time shall be considered a subsequent violation.
- The notations, “(I)” or “(II)” placed within sections of this regulation, indicate those standards are considered Class I or II violations if they are not met, respectively. Failure to meet standards not so annotated are considered Class III violations.
- In determining an enforcement action the Department shall consider the following factors:
- Specific conditions and their impact or potential impact on health, safety or well-being of the residents including, but not limited to: deficiencies in medication management, such as evidence that residents are not routinely receiving their prescribed medications; serious wastewater problems, such as toilets not operating or open sewage covering the grounds; housekeeping/maintenance/fire and life safety-related problems that pose a health threat to the residents; power/water/gas or other utility and/or service outages; residents exposed to air temperature extremes that jeopardize their health; unsafe condition of the building/structure such as a roof in danger of collapse; indictment of an administrator for malfeasance or a felony, which by its nature, such as drug dealing, indicates a threat to the residents; direct evidence of abuse, neglect, or exploitation; lack of food or evidence that the residents are not being fed properly; no staff available at the facility with residents present; unsafe procedures/treatment being practiced by staff; (I)
- Repeated failure of the licensee/facility to pay assessed charges for utilities and/or services resulting in repeated or ongoing threats to terminate the contracted utilities and/or services. (II)
- Efforts by the facility to correct cited violations;
- Overall conditions of the facility;
- History of compliance; and
- Any other pertinent conditions that may be applicable to current statutes and regulations.
- When imposing a monetary penalty, the Department may invoke 1976 Code Section 44-7-320
(C) to determine the dollar amount or may utilize the following schedule:
Frequency of violation of standard within a 36-month period:
MONETARY PENALTY RANGES
FREQUENCY CLASS I CLASS II CLASS III
1st $500-1,500 $300-800 $100-300
2nd 1000-3000 500-1500 300-800
3rd 2000-5000 1000-3000 500-1500
4th 5000 2000-5000 1000-3000
5th 5000 5000 2000-5000
6th 5000 5000 5000