CMS releases new rules for nursing homes: 5 things to know

CMS proposed one rule and finalized another that aim to improve safety and quality in nursing homes.

Five things to know:

1. The proposed rule — Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities — intends to eliminate "obsolete or excessively burdensome" rules for nursing homes, according to CMS.

2. Under the proposed rule, prescriptive requirements would be eliminated. For example, CMS would get rid of Quality Assurance Improvement Program requirements it deems unnecessary, while maintaining the overall structure and intent of the program.

3. Additionally, CMS proposed revising some requirements that were included in the third phase of CMS' comprehensive regulatory overhaul in 2016. The proposed rule would allow providers one year to implement the changes, which are supposed to take effect in November.

4. CMS also issued a final rule to update requirements nursing homes face for binding arbitration agreements. Under the final rule, CMS will remove the ban on binding arbitration agreements, but will prohibit nursing homes from requiring residents to sign binding arbitration agreements to receive care.

5. CMS said it expects the changes will save $616 million in annual administrative costs for nursing homes, in addition to improving patient protection and reducing regulatory burdens.

More articles on post-acute care:
Study finds nursing homes rarely have enough RNs on staff
400 nursing homes 'substantially fail' to meet care standards, Senate report finds
Whistleblower reveals cover-up at Kentucky nursing home

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