HUD eases regulations for minor nursing home repairs, renovations

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SNFs may not be able to take on hospital patient overflow during disasters, report on Katrina and Mi
SNFs may not be able to take on hospital patient overflow during disasters, report on Katrina and Mi

Some nursing homes could cut down on the red tape needed to undertake minor repairs and renovations, thanks to a new rule issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Nursing homes financed by HUD and located in areas at risk of flooding have faced an eight-step process before undertaking physical plant improvements. They now have the option of a five-step process, under a final rule issued Friday.

The eight-step process is meant to ensure that risks to facilities and potentially negative effects to wetlands are minimized in any building project, according to the rule. The five-step process has the same goal, but it allows for a quicker turnaround. This would benefit properties that are seeking minor improvements or that were lightly damaged by an adverse event.

In response to a public comment protesting the five-step system for nursing homes, HUD noted that prior experience in its mortgage insurance programs has shown no negative consequences in using the abbreviated process. Public comment on the proposed project is still being called for in the five-step process, and the full process is still needed for projects deemed “substantial improvements,” a HUD spokesman emphasized to McKnight's.

The originally proposed version of the rule included a provision that would have raised the minimum elevation at which new nursing home construction would have been allowed. However, HUD decided to gather more data before moving forward on that requirement. 

Click here to access the complete rule as published in the Federal Register.