On December 6th, we discussed the implementation of the second phase of a 3 part process to improve nursing home care. On November 28th, changes to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Federal Requirements of Participation for Nursing Homes went into effect…or did they? 4 days before the rules were set to go into effect, it was quietly posted on CMS’ website that facilities have 18 months to become compliant with some of the changes and additions to the requirements. This means that failing to follow new guidelines before the 18 month grace period will not result in financial punishment for a nursing home. CMS states that the intent of pausing penalties is to give facilities the 18 months to educate themselves on the new rules and regulations. Although many fines imposed upon nursing homes seem negligible in light of the conduct being addressed, they’re better than allowing nursing homes to get away with an 18 month delay in implementing measures that should have already been in place.
Of the changes included in Phase 2 of the revisions are the use of a baseline care plan, a comprehensive document that covers everything from dietary restrictions, to physicians orders, and necessary therapy services. To read more about the changes and additions to the Federal Requirements of Participation for Nursing Homes, please see our November post, Second Phase of Changes to Federal Requirements for Nursing Homes Now In Effect.