Residents of Long Term Care Facilities may experience the benefits of improved health and safety, thanks to the recent implementation of new procedural safeguards.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General issued a data brief in April 2019 that analyzed trends in deficiencies at nursing homes. The data brief states that improvements are needed to ensure the health and safety of nursing home residents.
In 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued changes in Medicare Conditions of Participation that included an increased focus on compliance in Long Term Care facilities. This was the first time since 1991 that major revisions were made to the Final Rule.
The revisions that Long-Term Care facilities must follow in order to participate in Medicare programs can be found in their entirety through the Federal Register: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/10/04/2016-23503/medicare-and-medicaid-programs-reform-of-requirements-for-long-term-care-facilities
Here is a summary of some of the provisions addressed in the Final Rule:
- Facilities are required to investigate and report all allegations of abusive conduct.
- Residents must receive the services and care from the facility that are necessary to maintain the highest level of physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being.
- An additional competency requirement for determining the sufficiency of nursing staff was added.
- Facilities must develop an Infection Prevention and Control Program (IPCP).
To ensure compliance, Long Term Care Facilities should review all of the information included in the Changes in Rules of Participation.