Friday, April 7, 2017
Justice in Aging, the Center for Medicare Advocacy and the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care have issued two more issue briefs on the revised nursing home regs CMS released last year.
The first brief is on visitation rights and is available here. This is the executive summary for this brief:
The revised nursing facility regulations affirm the rights of residents to receive visitors of their choosing at the time of their choosing, and require the facility to provide immediate access to the resident in accordance with the regulations. Access to spouses and domestic partners now specifically includes same-sex spouses and domestic partners.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services maintained the resident’s right to deny or withdraw consent for visitation of family members, other relatives, and other visitors at any time. The facility must ensure all visitors have full and equal visitation privileges (subject to resident preferences) and not discriminate against visitors based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.
The resident representative is added to the list of people and government representatives who have immediate and unrestricted access to the resident. However, visits from non-family visitors are now subject to "reasonable clinical and safety restrictions," which is a change from "reasonable restrictions."
The revised regulations require the facility to have a written visitation policy and inform residents of their visitation rights, the facility policy, any restrictions, the reasons for the restrictions, and to whom the restrictions apply.
The second issue brief is on rehabilitation services and is available here. Here is the executive summary
The substantive requirements for specialized rehabilitative services are largely unchanged from the prior version of the regulations, with the exception of "respiratory therapy," which is added to the list of services that a facility must provide to its residents who need them. In responding to a question regarding whether respiratory therapy should include ventilator care, CMS emphasized that a nursing facility is obligated to meet residents’ needs.
Thanks to these 3 organizations for providing all of us with this very helpful information!