Katie Smith Sloan

Nursing home groups say they are grateful that regulators heard their concerns about new changes to survey requirements and softened the blow.

As a result of extensive comments from the nation’s two largest nursing home associations, among others, federal regulators said they will not start imposing standard penalties until a year after the Nov. 28 implementation date.

“This is the way they should be phased in, giving nursing homes the opportunity to absorb wide-ranging new requirements, get expert help implementing them and thoroughly train their staff,” said LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan. 

The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living called the delay “responsive” to concerns.

The move was smart, agreed National Association for the Support of Long Term Care Executive Vice President Cynthia K. Morton.

“By delaying the financial penalties, facilities won’t lose precious resources they need to get these requirements into implementation,” she said. 

In additional good news for providers, CMS said it will keep constant the Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating system health inspection rating for any surveys after Nov. 28. This will allow nursing homes to catch up with new requirements without potentially losing a star.