Sprinkler system citations now in effect
Nursing homes without a full sprinkler system installed and functioning are now subject to deficiency citations, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
In a memorandum, CMS clarified the sprinkler requirement that went into effect Aug. 13. All nursing homes participating in Medicare or Medicaid must be fully equipped with sprinklers.
If a facility doesn't have sprinklers, it will be cited with deficiency tag K056 during surveys. Cited facilities will be required to submit a plan of correction to fix the deficiency within three months.
The requirement was finalized in 2008, with a five-year implementation period.
The memo states that a civil monetary penalty will not be imposed for a facility that has contracts in place and completed plans for installation. It also details various categories of sprinkler systems that could warrant a citation and the deficiency's severity. Most would be at severity level D, E or F, at a minimum.
Surveys indicate about 1,200 facilities nationwide still do not have a full sprinkler system, according to CMS.