Updated Guidance Will Improve Safety and Quality of Care for Long-Term Care Residents

long-term care, care concept holding wooden block with heart and elderly person in it

One of many areas the pandemic highlighted that needs attention is the safety standards and access to quality of care for long-term care residents. With residents suffering disproportionately from COVID-19 infections, isolation and lack of care, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is working to remedy this situation through it’s recently released Surveyor’s Guidelines for nursing home facilities. This guidance implements some regulations set into place in 2016, and also builds upon President Biden’s initiative to improve the quality and safety of nursing home care.

The 847 page guidelines document includes revisions that address staffing levels, visitation rights, infection prevention and control, arbitration agreements, improvements to transfer/discharge standards and important strategies to provide culturally competent care. It also addresses reducing resident room crowding and recommends no more than two residents in a room while encouraging facilities to also offer single room occupancy.

Our partners at Justice in Aging recently released a summary of these guidelines that focuses on the revisions most pertinent to residents and advocates. Read their summary: Understanding CMS’ New Nursing Facility Guidance.

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.