Nursing Home Industry Says Proposed Rules Are Too Burdensome


The Center for Medicare Services this summer released a sweeping, 400-page rules proposal that aims to improve quality of care and patient safety at long-term-care facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid.

You can read the proposal here.

If you don’t have time to read all 400 pages, here’s a brief overview provided by FierceHealthFinance:

The proposal […] would require nursing homes and LTCHs to consider the health of residents when making decisions on staffing; improve and better coordinate care planning, including discharge planning; make infection control training mandatory among staff and assign an infection control officer; and expand the rights of patients, including minimizing the use of binding arbitration agreements if a dispute arises over care. All staff would be trained in what constitutes abuse of patients. Such conditions would have to be met for the facilities to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The rules have been open for comment since their July release, and several industry groups have weighed in on the rules – including Leading Age and the American Health Care Association. Here’s what they had to say, according to ModernHealthcare:

“CMS’ proposed changes to the requirements of participation encompass and impact virtually all of the current requirements of participation,” wrote Leading Age, a trade group representing 6,000 not-for-profit organizations such as nursing homes and hospices.

Leading Age and others in the industry want a staggered phase of at least five years to implement the provisions. The rulemaking will require providers to engage in significant modification to current care-giving practices and procedures.

“The magnitude and complexity of several of the proposed new requirements will, by necessity, mandate a more extended period of time for transition and training,” Leading Age says.

The CMS is also looking to strengthen the rights of nursing home residents, including placing limits on when and how binding arbitration agreements may be used.

That final suggestion was most concerning to the American Health Care Association, a nursing home trade group, which noted that such a change has never before been sought by the government in the 50-year history of both Medicare and Medicaid.

ACHA said the CMS’ arbitration-related proposal should be withdrawn because it exceeds the agency’s statutory authority, are not necessary to protect resident health and safety, and many of the stated factual and legal grounds for the proposals are incorrect.

You can read the American Hospital Association’s letter to CMS here.


Photo by Jenni C via Flickr CC License

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