The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an updated memo QSO-21-17-NH ending the following waivers for long-term care (LTC) facilities and nursing homes enacted during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE):
Minimum Data Set (MDS) Timeframe Requirements
The waiver was put in place to provide flexibility in completing and transmitting assessments during the PHE, by waiving the Minimum Data Set (MDS) timeframe requirements. Similar to other emergency blanket waivers, CMS believes nursing homes will also now have practices to ensure timely completion of the MDS. CMS has ended the emergency blanket waiver.
Notifying Residents before Transfer or Discharge or Room or Roommate Change
The emergency waiver enabled nursing homes to take swift action for residents potentially exposed to COVID-19, by waiving the 30-day advanced notice requirement for a transfer or discharge of a resident or before a room or roommate change. CMS now believes nursing homes have the policies in place to effectively cohort residents while providing the advanced notice. Facilities are required to resume providing 30-day advanced notice before the transfer, discharge, or room and roommate change of a resident.
Care Planning Requirements
CMS previously waived the federal requirement that a nursing home completes a baseline care plan within 48 hours of admission and a comprehensive care plan seven days after completing the comprehensive admission assessment. CMS now believes nursing homes should have updated processes to complete the care planning tasks and has ended this emergency waiver. Federal regulations once again apply when transferring or discharging residents to another LTC facility.
CMS has not ended the waiver at 42 CFR §483.20(k) related to the Pre-Admission Screening and Annual Resident Review (PASARR).
The updated CMS memo is available here.