Group wants earlier start for facility sprinkler requirement

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A consumer advocacy organization has praised the government's recent proposal regarding sprinkler systems for nursing homes. But it is calling for early implementation of the new regulation.

"Nursing home residents should not have to wait another decade – or even five years – for protections that should have been included in many of these facilities when they were built," said Alice H. Hedt, executive director of the National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform.

The proposed regulation issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week would mandate the installation of approved, supervised automatic sprinkler systems in facilities. CMS estimated installation costs with five- , seven- , and 10-year phase-in periods.