The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today released a proposed rule overhauling the quality and safety requirements that long-term care facilities must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The last major revisions to the requirements were in 1991. According to CMS, the rule would improve care planning and discharge planning, ensure staff have the right skills and competencies to provide patient-centered care, and enable dietitians and therapy providers to write orders in their areas of expertise when a physician delegates the responsibility and state licensing laws allow. Among other provisions, the rule would add several new sections to the regulations, covering person-centered care planning, behavioral health services, quality assurance and performance improvement, training and more. It also would enhance infection prevention and control standards, revise visitation requirements, and expand food choice for residents, among other provisions. The proposed rule will be published in the July 16 Federal Register with a 60-day comment period.

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