Two Important Nursing Home Memos from CMS: Changes to Visitation and Surveys!

Today CMS released two new memos that update visitation procedures and and survey actions for skilled nursing (SNF) providers.

In the first memo, available here, CMS is telling providers to accommodate as many visits as possible. If CMS considers your facility to be too restrictive when it comes to visitors, your facility could be considered “non-compliant.” SNFs should do their best to allow for all possible family visits while still adhering to COVID-19 prevention protocols. Having a strict scheduling policy to maintain social distancing and provide a safe space for both residents and their families is your best bet.

In the second memo, available here, CMS outlines important changes to the survey process. Among the most important: surveyors will be taking a closer look at staff competency, appropriate medication usage, any potential neglect or abuse, and will be heavily scrutinizing facilities with high COVID-19 infection rates. In a somewhat strange move – SNFs are not allowed to ask surveyors about their vaccination status, or restrict access based on a surveyor’s vaccination status. This stands in stark contrast with the CMS vaccination mandate that applies to all of your staff.

Staying compliant with ever-changing regulations during the pandemic is a burden that even the largest SNF operators are struggling with. If you need help getting your organization on the right track, contact us today!