New Medicare/Medicaid Guidelines for Nursing Home Nutrition and Sanitary Conditions

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released new Interpretive Guidelines for nutrition and sanitary conditions in nursing homes effective September 1, 2008. The changes clarify areas such as assessment, care planning, and interventions for LTC residents.

The new guidelines are significant as it contains detailed instructions for acceptable parameters of nutritional status, details on required nutritional assessment, food and fluid intake, care planning, and weight-related interventions. There are also added sections on wound healing and feeding tubes which were not in the previous Interpretive Guidelines. Appendix PP – Guidance to Surveyors for Long Term Care Facilities updates the tags on nutrition (F-Tag 325) and sanitary conditions (F-Tag 371).

Nutrition The intent of the new guidelines on nutrition is that the resident maintains, to the extent possible, acceptable parameters of nutritional status and that the facility: Provides nutritional care and services to each resident, consistent with the resident’s comprehensive assessment including body weight and protein levels. Recognizes, evaluates, and addresses the needs of every resident, including but not limited to the resident at risk or already experiencing impaired nutrition. Provides a therapeutic diet that takes into account the resident’s clinical condition and preferences when there is a nutritional indication.

Sanitary Conditions The intent of the new guidelines on sanitary conditions is to ensure that the facility: Obtains food for resident consumption from sources approved or considered satisfactory by federal, state, or local authorities. Follows proper sanitation and food handling practices to prevent the outbreak of illness. Safe food handling for the prevention of food-borne illnesses begins when food is received from the vendor and continues through the facility’s food-handling processes.

The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims including those involving neglect or abuse at nursing homes. These cases can involve the deprivation of the nursing home resident’s civil rights, enabling recovery of attorney’s fees and possibly punitive damages pursuant to Article 28 of the Public Health Law.

For 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding areas. To learn more, contact the personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit for their help, or watch our videos.

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