Angel McGarrity-Davis, RN, CDONA, NHA

My corporation has been talking about an intense new rule. What do I need to know? 

They are referring to the final rule, released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at the end of September. Among its requirements are higher standards of care, reductions of unnecessary hospital readmissions, fewer infections and more person-centered care. 

Some highlights of the rule:

• Confirming that staff is appropriately competent to care for the residents the facility admits, especially those with dementia

• Sufficient staffing for resident

• Care coordination and seamless transitions to each providing facility, to include discharge planning and follow up after discharge, ensuring patient-centered care to improve the care planning process   

• Allowing qualified dietitians and therapy providers the ability to write orders in their areas of expertise when a physician delegates the responsibility and state licensing laws allow 

• Revising the facility’s infection control prevention program 

• Patient/resident goals to be highlighted on their individualized care plan

• Concentration on medication regime reviews, focusing on adverse events 

• New survey process combining QIS and traditional 

• It also outlawed pre-dispute arbitration agreements, but a court issues an injunction on this in November.

The first phase of the final rule will begin Nov. 28, 2016, and the other phases will be phased in through 2019. Keep doing what you do best, emphasizing the patients and quality of care.