Federal Nursing Home Regulations
First implemented in 1987, these regulations are the basis of all rights and all care for people living in nursing homes in United States. For us, they are incredibly important. These are the regulations that give people living in nursing homes to visit with family members and friends at any time, not just during stated visiting hours. They prevent nursing homes from simply locking their doors at 8 PM and denying any entry until the following morning. These are the regulations that give people living in nursing homes and their representatives the right to view records within 24 hours and to receive copies, paper or electronic, within 2 days.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), spent several years reviewing and revising these regulations in order to bring them more in line with current nursing home conditions. Many groups and individuals sent in multiple comments regarding needed changes. The new regulations finally started to be implemented on November 28, 2016 and will be phased in over the next 2 years.
While “our” side did not get everything we would have like to have had in these new regulations, the providers did not get all that they wanted either. Now, however, under this Administration’s effort to eliminate as many federal regulations as possible, the provider groups have initiated a major push to eliminate some of these helpful regulations and water down others.
Voices as well as many other groups concerned with quality nursing home care find the prospect of these modifications seriously damaging to nursing home care. As a result, Voices has submitted the following letter which will serve as a comment on these proposed changes.