Long-term care facilities refusing free CMS resource on dementia, nurses association says

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Some nursing homes are not accepting a dementia training resource sent by the government, even though it is free and recommended, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Nursing.

The Hand in Hand program is being sent to facilities by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The toolkit, which includes a large binder and six modules on CD, is meant to be used in staff training related to dementia and Alzheimer's care, the AALTCN stated in a website post Wednesday.

However — even though CMS sent introductory letters explaining the program — some facilities believe they will be billed for it and are “returning it or refusing it,” according to the association.

This did occur when CMS began sending out the toolkit two years ago but it has not been happening "for some time," a CMS spokeswoman told McKnight's. The agency no longer has the free DVDs but offers the information for download, she added.*

The toolkit was developed as part of Affordable Care Act compliance, CMS explains on the Hand in Hand webpage. The ACA “requires CMS to ensure that nurse aides receive regular training on caring for residents with dementia and on preventing abuse.”

The toolkit covers topics for nurse aides' annual in-service training, such as person-centered care and abuse prevention.

*Editor's Note: This article has been updated from its original version to include this comment from CMS.

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