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October 3, 2016

Nursing Homes Face Sweeping Regulatory Reform

A regulatory tsunami swept through the nursing home industry last week bringing with it  widespread revisions to regulations that date back twenty-five (25) years.  Nursing homes have been left reeling in its wake, and scrambling to make sense of over 700 pages of commentary and rules issued by the Centers for  Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).   The wide ranging reforms which are being phased in between November 28, 2016 and November 28, 2019 include the following key changes:

  • The prohibition on the use of arbitration agreements prior to a dispute between the facility and a resident. Effective November 28, 2016, facilities will no longer be permitted to have a resident sign an arbitration agreement upon admission. The facility may use them only after a dispute has arisen and the resident agrees to arbitrate the dispute.  Otherwise, the resident is entitled to have his/her dispute resolved in court.
  • Nursing homes will be required to readmit a resident being discharged from a hospital if the resident lived at the nursing home prior to his/her hospitalization.
  • Facilities will be subject to a new survey process in July, 2017 complete with new F Tags and changes to the State Operations Manual.
  • Employees, independent contractors and volunteers will be required to receive more training, with an emphasis on the “Person Centered Care” whereby residents’ preferences receive more deference from staff.

These and many other provisions will create a dramatic shift in the manner in which nursing homes have been operating.  For more information on compliance with the new regulations, please contact Susan Benz at 716-858-3812 or sbenz@barclaydamon.com.

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