The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, just this week announced specific areas and expectations on improvements to long term care facilities. Yeah!
It has been more than 25 years since a change like this has been mandated to long term care facilities.
In addition to improving the protection of both staff and patients, there are new compliance policies being introduced. While the long term care facilities have a few years to be 100% compliant, there are specific dates for each change to be in place, the first starting November of this year. So the pressure is on. And for good reason. Many have been questioning why it appears the life of a prisoner in a jail may be better than a patient in a long term care home.
So what are some of these mandated changes to long term care facilities?
- To improve patient rights, the facilities will no longer be able to put in place pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements with patients.
- Doctors can delegate to qualified ‘others’, changes to dietary orders. This should improve the turn around time of changes to dietary needs or requests.
- Introduction of Ethics policies. New policies will be created to reduce criminal, civil, and administrative violations.
- Improved Pharmacy Services. In addition to pharmacists reviewing patients medications monthly, they will now also include the patient records. And can report any uncertainties. There will also be analysis done on any unnecessary use of psychotropic drugs.
- Patient focused planning. WOW! Within 48 hours of entering a LTC, a specific plan for each patient as an individual must be developed. So a comprehensive-centered care plan.
See the original articles for more detailed explanation of each change.