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CMS Issues Revised Guidance for Long-Term Care Facilities

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued new and revised guidance for long-term care (LTC) facilities, clarifying policies for surveyors under the 2016 LTC Requirements for Participation final rule.  

The guidance provides clarifications and revisions to Phase 2 requirements — originally issued in 2017 — and new guidance on Phase 3 requirements. The guidance clarifies arbitration agreement requirements and revised requirements specific to care for patients with mental health needs and substance use disorders. It also requires surveyors to use payroll-based staffing data to assess compliance with staffing requirements.  

CMS also provides guidance for implementing Phase 3 regulations that require nursing homes to have an infection preventionist who has specialized training on-site at least part-time to oversee the facility’s infection prevention and control program. CMS also clarifies its expectations for state survey agency oversight of complaints and facility reported incidents. In addition, while CMS does not make specific requirements, it recommends that LTC facilities consider making changes to their physical environment to allow for a maximum of double occupancy in each room and explore ways to increase the availability of more single occupancy rooms for residents. 

CHA is reviewing the guidance, which is effective on Oct. 24, 2022.