Mark Napier

Medicare’s Updated Nursing Home Requirements and Guidance to State Investigators

In 2016, Medicare updated its requirements for nursing homes. The updated requirements and guidance for state health department investigators, called surveyors, will increase protections for nursing home residents and their families. The final requirements and guidance will go into effect on October 24, 2022.

Updated requirements and guidance that residents and their family members should be aware of include the following:

• Duty by a nursing home to provide immediate access to a resident by immediate family at all times, subject to certain restrictions during a disease outbreak.
• Duty by a nursing home to promptly report a reasonable suspicion of a crime by its staff or anyone else.
• Duty by a nursing home to immediately remove a resident from any identified abuse.
• Expansion of the definition of “neglect” to include a facility’s indifference or disregard that causes a resident pain or distress.
• Surveyors must now consider the psychosocial effects the facility’s actions or inactions have on a resident, such as a staff member’s failure to respond to call lights.
• Protections from falsely diagnosing residents with schizophrenia to hide the use of anti-psychotic medications to sedate residents.

These are just a few of the updated requirements and guidance for state surveyors. If you suspect your loved one has been a victim of abuse or neglect by an Ohio nursing home, you should consult with an experienced nursing neglect and abuse attorney.