(1) The facility must designate a physician to serve as medical director.
(2) The medical director is responsible for -
(1) The facility must designate a physician to serve as medical director.
(2) The medical director is responsible for -
(i) Implementation of resident care policies; and
(ii) The coordination of medical care in the facility.
(i) Medical records.
(1) In accordance with accepted professional standards and practices, the facility must maintain medical records on each resident that are -
(ii) Accurately documented;
(iii) Readily accessible; and
(iv) Systematically organized.
(2) The facility must keep confidential all information contained in the resident's records, regardless of the form or storage method of the records, except when release is -
(i) To the individual, or their resident representative where permitted by applicable law;
(ii) Required by law;
(iii) For treatment, payment, or health care operations, as permitted by and in compliance with 45 CFR 164.506;
(iv) For public health activities, reporting of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence, health oversight activities, judicial and administrative proceedings, law enforcement purposes, organ donation purposes, research purposes, or to coroners, medical examiners, funeral directors, and to avert a serious threat to health or safety as permitted by and in compliance with 45 CFR 164.512.
(3) The facility must safeguard medical record information against loss, destruction, or unauthorized use;
(4) Medical records must be retained for -
(i) The period of time required by State law; or
(ii) Five years from the date of discharge when there is no requirement in State law; or
(iii) For a minor, 3 years after a resident reaches legal age under State law.
(5) The medical record must contain -
(i) Sufficient information to identify the resident;
(ii) A record of the resident's assessments;
(iii) The comprehensive plan of care and services provided;
(iv) The results of any preadmission screening and resident review evaluations and determinations conducted by the State;
(v) Physician's, nurse's, and other licensed professional's progress notes; and
(vi) Laboratory, radiology and other diagnostic services reports as required under § 483.50.
(j) Transfer agreement.
(1) In accordance with section 1861(l) of the Act, the facility (other than a nursing facility which is located in a State on an Indian reservation) must have in effect a written transfer agreement with one or more hospitals approved for participation under the Medicare and Medicaid programs that reasonably assures that -
(i) Residents will be transferred from the facility to the hospital, and ensured of timely admission to the hospital when transfer is medically appropriate as determined by the attending physician or, in an emergency situation, by another practitioner in accordance with facility policy and consistent with state law; and
(ii) Medical and other information needed for care and treatment of residents and, when the transferring facility deems it appropriate, for determining whether such residents can receive appropriate services or receive services in a less restrictive setting than either the facility or the hospital, or reintegrated into the community, will be exchanged between the providers, including but not limited to the information required under § 483.15(c)(2)(iii).
(2) The facility is considered to have a transfer agreement in effect if the facility has attempted in good faith to enter into an agreement with a hospital sufficiently close to the facility to make transfer feasible.
(k) Disclosure of ownership.
(1) The facility must comply with the disclosure requirements of §§ 420.206 and 455.104 of this chapter.
(2) The facility must provide written notice to the State agency responsible for licensing the facility at the time of change, if a change occurs in -
(i) Persons with an ownership or control interest, as defined in §§ 420.201 and 455.101 of this chapter;
(ii) The officers, directors, agents, or managing employees;
(iii) The corporation, association, or other company responsible for the management of the facility; or
(iv) The facility's administrator or director of nursing.
(3) The notice specified in paragraph (k)(2) of this section must include the identity of each new individual or company.
(l) Facility closure-Administrator. Any individual who is the administrator of the facility must:
(1) Submit to the State Survey Agency, the State LTC ombudsman, residents of the facility, and the legal representatives of such residents or other responsible parties, written notification of an impending closure:
(i) At least 60 days prior to the date of closure; or
(ii) In the case of a facility where the Secretary or a State terminates the facility's participation in the Medicare and/or Medicaid programs, not later than the date that the Secretary determines appropriate;
(2) Ensure that the facility does not admit any new residents on or after the date on which such written notification is submitted; and
(3) Include in the notice the plan, that has been approved by the State, for the transfer and adequate relocation of the residents of the facility by a date that would be specified by the State prior to closure, including assurances that the residents would be transferred to the most appropriate facility or other setting in terms of quality, services, and location, taking into consideration the needs, choice, and best interests of each resident.
(m) Facility closure. The facility must have in place policies and procedures to ensure that the administrator's duties and responsibilities involve providing the appropriate notices in the event of a facility closure, as required at paragraph (l) of this section.
(n) Binding arbitration agreements. If a facility chooses to ask a resident or his or her representative to enter into an agreement for binding arbitration, the facility must comply with all of the requirements in this section.
(1) The facility must not require any resident or his or her representative to sign an agreement for binding arbitration as a condition of admission to, or as a requirement to continue to receive care at, the facility and must explicitly inform the resident or his or her representative of his or her right not to sign the agreement as a condition of admission to, or as a requirement to continue to receive care at, the facility.
(2) The facility must ensure that:
(i) The agreement is explained to the resident and his or her representative in a form and manner that he or she understands, including in a language the resident and his or her representative understands;
(ii) The resident or his or her representative acknowledges that he or she understands the agreement;
(iii) The agreement provides for the selection of a neutral arbitrator agreed upon by both parties; and
(iv) The agreement provides for the selection of a venue that is convenient to both parties.
(3) The agreement must explicitly grant the resident or his or her representative the right to rescind the agreement within 30 calendar days of signing it.
(4) The agreement must explicitly state that neither the resident nor his or her representative is required to sign an agreement for binding arbitration as a condition of admission to, or as a requirement to continue to receive care at, the facility.
(5) The agreement may not contain any language that prohibits or discourages the resident or anyone else from communicating with federal, state, or local officials, including but not limited to, federal and state surveyors, other federal or state health department employees, and representatives of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, in accordance with § 483.10(k).
(6) When the facility and a resident resolve a dispute through arbitration, a copy of the signed agreement for binding arbitration and the arbitrator's final decision must be retained by the facility for 5 years after the resolution of that dispute on and be available for inspection upon request by CMS or its designee.
(o) Hospice services.
(1) A long-term care (LTC) facility may do either of the following:
(i) Arrange for the provision of hospice services through an agreement with one or more Medicare-certified hospices.
(ii) Not arrange for the provision of hospice services at the facility through an agreement with a Medicare-certified hospice and assist the resident in transferring to a facility that will arrange for the provision of hospice services when a resident requests a transfer.
(2) If hospice care is furnished in an LTC facility through an agreement as specified in paragraph (o)(1)(i) of this section with a hospice, the LTC facility must meet the following requirements:
(i) Ensure that the hospice services meet professional standards and principles that apply to individuals providing services in the facility, and to the timeliness of the services.
(ii) Have a written agreement with the hospice that is signed by an authorized representative of the hospice and an authorized representative of the LTC facility before hospice care is furnished to any resident. The written agreement must set out at least the following:
(A) The services the hospice will provide.
(B) The hospice's responsibilities for determining the appropriate hospice plan of care as specified in § 418.112 (d) of this chapter.
(C) The services the LTC facility will continue to provide, based on each resident's plan of care.
(D) A communication process, including how the communication will be documented between the LTC facility and the hospice provider, to ensure that the needs of the resident are addressed and met 24 hours per day.
(E) A provision that the LTC facility immediately notifies the hospice about the following:
(1) A significant change in the resident's physical, mental, social, or emotional status.
(2) Clinical complications that suggest a need to alter the plan of care.
(3) A need to transfer the resident from the facility for any condition.
(4) The resident's death.
(F) A provision stating that the hospice assumes responsibility for determining the appropriate course of hospice care, including the determination to change the level of services provided.
(G) An agreement that it is the LTC facility's responsibility to furnish 24-hour room and board care, meet the resident's personal care and nursing needs in coordination with the hospice representative, and ensure that the level of care provided is appropriately based on the individual resident's needs.
(H) A delineation of the hospice's responsibilities, including but not limited to, providing medical direction and management of the patient; nursing; counseling (including spiritual, dietary, and bereavement); social work; providing medical supplies, durable medical equipment, and drugs necessary for the palliation of pain and symptoms associated with the terminal illness and related conditions; and all other hospice services that are necessary for the care of the resident's terminal illness and related conditions.
(I) A provision that when the LTC facility personnel are responsible for the administration of prescribed therapies, including those therapies determined appropriate by the hospice and delineated in the hospice plan of care, the LTC facility personnel may administer the therapies where permitted by State law and as specified by the LTC facility.
(J) A provision stating that the LTC facility must report all alleged violations involving mistreatment, neglect, or verbal, mental, sexual, and physical abuse, including injuries of unknown source, and misappropriation of patient property by hospice personnel, to the hospice administrator immediately when the LTC facility becomes aware of the alleged violation.
(K) A delineation of the responsibilities of the hospice and the LTC facility to provide bereavement services to LTC facility staff.
(3) Each LTC facility arranging for the provision of hospice care under a written agreement must designate a member of the facility's interdisciplinary team who is responsible for working with hospice representatives to coordinate care to the resident provided by the LTC facility staff and hospice staff. The interdisciplinary team member must have a clinical background, function within their State scope of practice act, and have the ability to assess the resident or have access to someone that has the skills and capabilities to assess the resident. The designated interdisciplinary team member is responsible for the following:
(i) Collaborating with hospice representatives and coordinating LTC facility staff participation in the hospice care planning process for those residents receiving these services.
(ii) Communicating with hospice representatives and other healthcare providers participating in the provision of care for the terminal illness, related conditions, and other conditions, to ensure quality of care for the patient and family.
(iii) Ensuring that the LTC facility communicates with the hospice medical director, the patient's attending physician, and other practitioners participating in the provision of care to the patient as needed to coordinate the hospice care with the medical care provided by other physicians.
(iv) Obtaining the following information from the hospice:
(A) The most recent hospice plan of care specific to each patient.
(B) Hospice election form.
(C) Physician certification and recertification of the terminal illness specific to each patient.
(D) Names and contact information for hospice personnel involved in hospice care of each patient.
(E) Instructions on how to access the hospice's 24-hour on-call system.
(F) Hospice medication information specific to each patient.
(G) Hospice physician and attending physician (if any) orders specific to each patient.
(v) Ensuring that the LTC facility staff provides orientation in the policies and procedures of the facility, including patient rights, appropriate forms, and record keeping requirements, to hospice staff furnishing care to LTC residents.
(4) Each LTC facility providing hospice care under a written agreement must ensure that each resident's written plan of care includes both the most recent hospice plan of care and a description of the services furnished by the LTC facility to attain or maintain the resident's highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being, as required at § 483.25.
(p) Social worker. Any facility with more than 120 beds must employ a qualified social worker on a full-time basis. A qualified social worker is:
(1) An individual with a minimum of a bachelor's degree in social work or a bachelor's degree in a human services field including, but not limited to, sociology, gerontology, special education, rehabilitation counseling, and psychology; and
(2) One year of supervised social work experience in a health care setting working directly with individuals.
(q) Mandatory submission of staffing information based on payroll data in a uniform format. Long-term care facilities must electronically submit to CMS complete and accurate direct care staffing information, including information for agency and contract staff, based on payroll and other verifiable and auditable data in a uniform format according to specifications established by CMS.
(1) Direct Care Staff. Direct Care Staff are those individuals who, through interpersonal contact with residents or resident care management, provide care and services to allow residents to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being. Direct care staff does not include individuals whose primary duty is maintaining the physical environment of the long term care facility (for example, housekeeping).
(2) Submission requirements. The facility must electronically submit to CMS complete and accurate direct care staffing information, including the following:
(i) The category of work for each person on direct care staff (including, but not limited to, whether the individual is a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, licensed vocational nurse, certified nursing assistant, therapist, or other type of medical personnel as specified by CMS);
(ii) Resident census data; and
(iii) Information on direct care staff turnover and tenure, and on the hours of care provided by each category of staff per resident per day (including, but not limited to, start date, end date (as applicable), and hours worked for each individual).
(3) Distinguishing employee from agency and contract staff. When reporting information about direct care staff, the facility must specify whether the individual is an employee of the facility, or is engaged by the facility under contract or through an agency.
(4) Data format. The facility must submit direct care staffing information in the uniform format specified by CMS.
(5) Submission schedule. The facility must submit direct care staffing information on the schedule specified by CMS, but no less frequently than quarterly.