Nursing Home Care – Updated Guidance to Improve Quality

Nursing Home Care – Updated Guidance to Improve Quality

Today, more than 1.4 million individuals live in Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes across the United States. As part of an effort seeking to improve the health and safety of nursing home residents nationwide, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (referred to below as “the Centers”) released updated guidance in June for the state agencies that are responsible for surveying long-term care facilities and investigating complaints.

The wide range of updates have been included.

Nursing Home Staffing

Nursing homes must provide data on their staffing, which the Centers will use in a research study aimed in part at establishing minimum staffing level requirements for these facilities.

Infection Prevention

Long Term Care facilities will be required to employ and train at least one part-time, on-site infection preventionist who oversees an effective infection prevention and control program.

Reporting and Complaint Investigation

Nursing home surveyors across states will need to investigate complaints and reports of abuse in a timely and consistent manner. A 2019 Government Accountability Office report had previously found that information on abuse was not readily available and that the processes through which incidents of abuse were reported to law enforcement varied widely by state. The new guidelines review the procedures to follow in managing complaints and reporting incidents.

Discharge and Arbitration

The revisions provide clarifications on various requirements related to nursing homes’ discharge of residents and compliance with arbitration agreements.


Updated mental health guidance targets the inappropriate use of unnecessary medications, such as antipsychotics.

Room Occupancy

The guidelines outline recommendations for nursing homes on limiting occupancy per room to two individuals. This will help prevent infection while also offering an enhanced level of comfort and privacy for residents. It also urges operators to allow for a greater number of single-occupancy rooms.


The Centers offer a Fact Sheet summarizing the new guidelines. Nursing home surveyors will begin to apply the new guidelines in October 2022.

Next Steps

Baker Law Group specializes in Massachusetts Elder Law, helping seniors and their families to plan ahead when possible, protect assets, apply for benefits, and contract for quality care in and out of the home.

We help individuals prepare for issues that will affect them in their later years including assisted living and nursing home care. We handle matters related to Social Security, veteran’s benefits, home health care, and MassHealth/Medicaid/Medicare.

To schedule a free consultation:

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