DAL: NH 17-04 - Resident Visitation Rights
September 28, 2017
RE: DAL: NH 17-04 Resident Visitation Rights
Dear Nursing Home Administrator:
On October 14, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published the final rule in the Federal Register which revised the requirements (Requirements of Participation) Long-Term Care facilities must meet to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs. These changes are being implemented over three phases:
- Phase 1 - November 28, 2016
- Phase 2 - November 28, 2017
- Phase 3 - November 28, 2019
The purpose of this communication is to provide a brief overview of the implementation of the new Resident Visitation Rights.
Overview of Resident Visitation Rights
The new rule affirms and explicitly states the resident has the right to receive visitors of his
or her choosing and at the time of their choosing, subject to the resident's right to deny
visitation when applicable, and in a manner that does not impose on the rights of another
resident. Other changesinclude, but are not limited to, the following:
- The resident representative is added to the list of people who have immediate access to the resident.
- The facility must provide immediate access to the resident by immediate family and other relatives of the resident, subject to the resident's right to deny or withdraw consent at any time.
- The facility must provide immediate access to a resident by others who are visiting with the consent of the resident, subject to reasonable clinical and safety restrictions and the resident's right to deny or withdraw consent at any time.
- The facility must have written visitation policies and procedures and inform the resident of his or her visitation rights, the facility policy and the reasons for any clinically necessary or reasonable restriction or limitation or safety restriction or limitation. For example, reasonable safety restrictions are those imposed by the facility that protect the security of all of the facility's residents, such as keeping the facility locked at night. The facility may change location of visits to assist care giving or protect the privacy of other residents, if these visitation rights infringe upon the rights of other residents in the facility. For example, a resident's family visits late in the evening, which prevent the resident's roommate from sleeping.
- The facility must inform each resident (or resident representative, where appropriate) of the right to receive visitors whom he or she designates, including but not limited to, a spouse, domestic partner (including same sex spouse or domestic partner), another family member, or a friend and his or her right to withdraw or deny consent at any time.
- The facility must ensure that all visitors enjoy full and equal privileges consistent with resident preferences.
The Department encourages facilities to review their policy and procedures for visitation to ensure they are in compliance with all of the requirements of participation. Further clarification of the reform of the requirements for Long-Term Care facilities can be found at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/GuidanceforLawsAndRegulations/Nursing-Homes.html
Division of Nursing Homes and
Center for Health Care Provider
Services and Oversight