At the beginning of January 2022, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services revised the organization’s “Frequently Asked Questions” sections. This FAQ addresses the agency’s Nursing Home Visitation Guidance.
The revised FAQ emphasizes that visitation must be allowed at all times and states that visitation is essential for all residents. The FAQ also acknowledges that previous limitations on visits led to a decline in the physical as well as psychosocial health of residents.
The Primary Updates
Some of the primary updates to the FAQ that are worth noting include:
- While visitation can still happen, states can guide facilities about what additional measures they can take to make visitation safer. Some of the additional measures that facilities might wish to take include wearing snug-fitting masks including KN95s and surgical masks. States should also work directly with the center for Medicaid services in regards to what measures they are considering.
- When outbreaks happen, nursing homes and other facilities should continue meeting with the state as well as local health departments to decide when modifications to existing visitation policies are necessary. All meetings with the health department should be documented as well as what measures facilities take to limit and control the transmission of Covid-19.
- Facilities should continue to permit visitations as the number of Covid-19 cases rises dramatically as a result of the Omnicron variant. The guidance states that visitation must be allowed despite the rise in the number of cases. The guidance also emphasizes that residents have a federal right to make decisions about their lives in a facility as well as their right to visitation.
- Vaccination is strongly encouraged even though it is not mandatory. People are also recommended to take additional precautions to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. Some of the additional measures that people are advised to take include providing appointed indoor space for visits, visiting only when roommates at the nursing home are not available, visiting residents of the nursing home outdoors, making masks available to residents, limiting movement in facilities to visitation locations, increasing airflow as well as ventilation, and posting details about practices that can be used to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Contact an Experienced Elder Law Attorney
Elder law is full of challenges and many questions can arise about how to best navigate this area of law. One of the best ways to proceed through this situation is to obtain the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact Ettinger Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.