New Protections for Nursing Home Residents
Obama-era rules designed to give nursing home residents more control of their care are gradually going into effect.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid finalized rules, which are the first comprehensive update to nursing home regulations since 1991, The rules took effect in November of 2016. The rest will be phased in over the next two years. Here are some of the rules newly in effect:
No more “visiting hours”: The new rules allow residents to have visitors of the resident’s choosing at the time the resident wants, meaning the facility cannot impose visiting hours. There are also rules about who must have immediate access to a resident, including a resident’s representative.
Freedom to Snack: Nursing homes must make meals and snacks available when residents want to eat, not just at designated meal times.
More Transfer and Discharge Protections: The new rules require more documentation from a resident’s physician before the nursing home can transfer or discharge a resident based on an inability to meet the resident’s needs. The nursing home also cannot discharge a patient for nonpayment if Medi-Cal is considering a payment claim.
In November 2017, rules regarding facility assessment, psycho tropic drugs, medication review and care plans, among others, go into effect. The final set of regulations covering infection control and ethics programs will take effect in November 2019.
Ms. MacDonald’s practice is limited to Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration. Ms. MacDonald maintains her practice in the Santa Clarita Valley at 25115 Avenue Stanford, Suite A-209, Valencia, California. She can be reached at 661-294-6464.
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