Monday, January 22, 2007
New federal seclusion-and-restraint regulations include a requirement that nurses and physician assistants must contact the attending physician when they believe there is a need to use these interventions. Nursing homes, psychiatric, rehabilitation, and alcohol/drug treatment centers are among the medical facilities that will need to ensure that their training complies with new federal guidelines on the use of seclusion and restraint. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule last month governing the use of seclusion and restraints by physicians and health care workers who treat patients in hospitals that participate in Medicare or Medicaid. The regulations, which go into effect on February 6, establish more rigorous training requirements that aim to assure appropriate treatment and protect patients' rights. The regulations are part of Medicare's revised conditions of participation (CoPs) in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and apply to a wide range of settings including short-term, psychiatric, rehabilitation, long-term, pediatric, and substance abuse treatment facilities.