Consumer Voice, in partnership with Justice in Aging, has released a new fact sheet entitled “Why-the-Recently-Revised-Nursing-Home-Regulations-Are-Vital-for-Nursing-Home-Residents”
After four years of work from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), newly revised federal nursing facility regulations were released in September, and most provisions went into effect on November 28. These revised regulations provide critical consumer protections. This fact sheet provides an overview of some important new revisions and how they protect long-term care consumers. Stakeholders and policymakers can use the fact sheet to better understand the role the revised regulations have in improving nursing care, including an increased focus on addressing a resident’s needs and preferences.
Greater focus on addressing a resident’s individual needs and preferences. A nursing home must learn more about who the resident is as a person, provide greater support for resident preferences, and give residents increased control and choice.
Prompt development of a care plan. The original regulations allowed a resident to be without a care plan for as long as 21 days following admission. Now, a facility must develop and implement a care plan within 48 hours of a resident’s admission.
More comprehensive care. Treatment and services have been expanded to include pain management, dialysis, and behavioral health services.
Improved training. Training requirements have been expanded to apply to all staff, contractual employees, and volunteers. Mandatory topics include communication, residents’ rights, and prevention of abuse, neglect and exploitation. Training for nursing assistants is expanded to include dementia management and resident abuse prevention.
Improved protections against abuse, neglect and exploitation. A nursing home must not employ a licensed individual with a disciplinary action, and must report suspicions of a crime to law enforcement and the state survey and certification agency.
Better protection of resident property. Nursing homes are now required to take reasonable care of resident belongings and can no longer seek waivers of their responsibility for lost or stolen property.
Increased visitation rights. A resident can accept visitors at any time of the day.
Protection against evictions. Eviction for non-payment is not allowed when a third-party payor (such as Medicaid) is evaluating a claim for payment. For evictions based on a nursing home’s supposed inability to meet a resident’s needs, the nursing home must document its attempts to meet the resident’s needs, and the ability of a receiving nursing home to meet those needs.
Limiting nursing home’s ability to “dump” a resident at the hospital. In an effort to evade eviction safeguards, some nursing homes “dump” residents by refusing to readmit them from hospitalizations. Now, a nursing home must follow eviction procedures and give a hospitalized resident an opportunity to appeal, when the nursing home claims that the resident cannot return.
Prohibiting forced arbitration of claims of misconduct. Currently, many nursing home admission agreements compel a resident to bring any future claims about abuse, neglect or other quality of care issues through private arbitration. The revised regulations prohibit nursing homes from forcing residents to arbitrate disputes, but allow voluntary arbitration agreed to after a dispute arises.