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CMS Guidance to State Survey Agencies on Verifying Correction of Deficiencies Needs To Be Improved To Help Ensure the Health and Safety of Nursing Home Residents (A-09-18-02000)
State survey agencies (State agencies) must verify that nursing homes corrected identified deficiencies, such as the failure to provide necessary care and services, before certifying whether the nursing homes are in substantial compliance with Federal participation requirements for Medicare and Medicaid.
CMS has issued two transmittals updating Chapter 30, "Financial Liability Protections," of the Medicare Claims Processing Manual.
NOTE: CMS updated this file In December 2018.
Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) Policy Manual Updates, Notification to States and New Minimum Data Set (MDS) Census Reports
• Notification to States –
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will provide CMS Regional Offices (ROs) and State Survey Agencies with a list of facilities with potential staffing issues to support survey activities for evaluating sufficient staffing and improving resident health and safety.
• Updates in the PBJ Policy Manual and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – We are expanding the guidance on the meal breaks policy to ensure consistency. In addition, we are adding guidance regarding reporting hours for “Universal Care Workers.”
• Additional Technical Support for Facilities – New MDS-based census reports in the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reporting (CASPER) system.
The involuntary transfer or discharge of a resident of a nursing home can be unsafe and a traumatic experience for the resident and his or her family. To address these concerns, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 to protect residents against involuntary transfer and discharge. However, data from the National Ombudsman Reporting System show that from 2011 through 2016, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, established to advocate for older Americans by the Older Americans Act of 1965, cited complaints related to "discharge/eviction" more frequently than any other concern. In addition, the media has recently highlighted the rise in nursing home evictions. CMS estimates that as many as one-third of all residents in long-term care facilities are involuntarily discharged. We will determine the extent to which State long-term care ombudsmen address involuntary transfers and discharges from nursing homes and the extent to which State survey agencies investigated and took enforcement actions against nursing homes for inappropriate involuntary transfers and discharges. We will also examine the extent to which nursing homes meet CMS requirements for involuntary transfers and discharges.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released an updated Hand in Hand Series for Nursing Homes, a training series focused on caring for residents with dementia and on preventing abuse. While CMS isn’t currently offering continuing education units (CEUs) for Hand in Hand, the agency recommends—but does not mandate—that providers use Hand in Hand to fulfill federal requirements for training all nursing home staff about dementia management and resident abuse prevention, said CMS officials at the Oct. 11 Skilled Nursing Facility/Long-term Care Open Door Forum (ODF).
“Federal law requires that nurse aides complete in-service training on dementia management and resident abuse prevention,” they explained. “Additionally, facilities must now provide dementia management and resident abuse prevention training to all facility staff, contractors, and volunteers.”
About 15,600 nursing homes participate in Medicare and Medicaid. To help ensure that residents receive quality care, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) collect data (such as nurse staffing levels) on these nursing homes.
We testified that CMS's data showed mixed results—they showed an increase in consumer complaints along with improvements in the quality of care. We found that data issues (e.g., different states using different data collection methods) complicated CMS’s ability to assess whether the results reflected actual changes.
The LTCSP Procedure Guide provides instruction on the procedural and software steps necessary for completing the Long-term Care Survey Process. Surveyors use the Procedure Guide for all standard surveys of SNFs and NFs, whether freestanding, distinct parts, or dually participating. The LTCSP steps are organized into seven parts: 1) offsite preparation; 2) facility entrance; 3) initial pool process; 4) sample selection; 5) investigation; 6) ongoing and other survey activities; and 7) potential citations. Below is a broad overview of the key onsite parts of the LTCSP (parts 3 – 7).
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