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Long-term Care Rules Substantially Revised for the First Time in 24 Years

CMS released proposed rules revising requirements for long-term care (LTC) facilities in July, marking the first substantial change to the CoPs since 1991.

These rules would have to be followed by any LTC facility that accepts Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. They were drafted to improve patient safety and quality of care for LTC residents and to align with current clinical practice standards. This would impact more than 1.5 million residents in more than 15,000 nursing homes or LTC facilities. Given the significance of these proposed changes, long-term care facilities should immediately focus on their review and how to implement the changes.

The changes include:

  • Staff are trained on caring for patients with dementia and in prevention of abuse and neglect
  • Staffing needs to take into consideration the type and health of residents they serve
  • Improvements in discharge planning
  • Improved plans of care and utilizing the interdisciplinary team approach
  • Credentialing dieticians to write diet orders in states that permit this
  • Requiring nursing homes to provide greater food choices
  • Making improvements in the infection control program including the requirement to have an infection preventionist

The proposed changes are published in the July 16, 2015 Federal Register and you can read them here.