CMS Finalizes Rule Governing Requirements for Long-Term-Care Facilities
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule to make major changes to improve the care and safety of the nearly 1.5 million residents in the more than 15,000 long-term care (LTC) facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The policies in this final rule are targeted at reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions and infections, improving the quality of care, and strengthening safety measures for residents in these facilities.
During the open comment period regarding these proposed revisions the WOCN Society provided comments to CMS that the proposed rule did not address the needs of ostomy patients. The WOCN Society’s comments suggesting they change its terminology from “ureterostomy” to “urostomy,” in addition to suggesting that CMS provide specific guidance to LTC facilities about providing access to WOC nurses for residents who have an ostomy. In the recently released final rule, CMS agreed to change their terminology and also provided LTC facilities will additional guidance on mandated care for ostomy patients. The change for access to care was not a full endorsement for access to a WOC nurse, but it is a huge improvement over the initial language as the original section on ostomy patients provided no guidance on care for ostomy patients. LTC facilities are now required to provide ostomy patients with access to quality care per this final language: “The facility must ensure that residents who require colostomy, urostomy, or ileostomy services, receive such care consistent with professional standards of practice, the comprehensive person-centered care plan, and the residents’ goals and preferences.” No such language has previously existed to protect ostomy patients in LTC facilities and this is seen as big victory for the care of these patients.
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