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Will CMS change how they handle nursing homes?

Those who run nursing home facilities must balance patient care, the needs of medical professionals serving these patients, the operations of the facility and the overall comfort of their residents within the confines of an array of federal, state and local regulations.

The United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is one federal body that watches over nursing homes. Those who operate these facilities must comply with the CMS’ rules or face penalties. But what does this mean? Experts in the medical and legal fields disagree over the role this agency should play in guiding these facilities. The two primary arguments are as follows:

  • More fines: On the one side are those who are in favor of the CMS operating with stricter enforcement and increased fines for failure to comply with applicable regulations.
  • More funds: In contrast, others believe fines do not help to better ensure these facilities comply with federal rules. Instead, they argue CMS should provide more funding and “on-the-ground support” to these facilities to better ensure residents receive the care they need.

Even before the pandemic, CMS was shifting how it was handling these facilities. It was pushing for better care by changing how it paid these facilities. Changes will likely continue. As a result, those who run these facilities are wise to conduct internal audits to better ensure that they are in line with federal rules and regulations and make changes as needed based on the results of these audits. A failure to do so could result in fines or a removal from the CMS’ program.