F-tags with revisions on resident quality of life to be released in June

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Eleven F-tags with revisions related to the quality of life and environment of nursing home residents will be available June 17.

Subjects of the tags include access and visitation, married couples, notice before room or roommate change, private closet space, and sanitary conditions. The tags contain revisions to previous guidance. The revisions are an outgrowth of a symposium called "Creating Home in the Nursing Home," which was co-sponsored by CMS and the Pioneer Network in April 2008.

New guidance regarding F-241 ("Dignity") has some noteworthy changes. Language was added to the tag, for example, to encourage residents to wear their own clothing, and assist them with it rather than hospital-type gowns. In addition, the use of bibs is discouraged unless preferred by the resident.

The tags can be viewed online at www.cms.hhs.gov/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/downloads/SCLetter09_31.pdf.

In related regulatory news, CMS has released pain management guidelines for nursing homes under F-309. The guideline went into effect on April 10.
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