CMS Issues Final Rule for Hospice in Nursing Centers

On June 27, 2013, the final rule Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Requirements for Long Term Care Facilities; Hospice Services was published in the Federal Register. The Final Rule revises skilled nursing facility (SNF)/nursing facility (NF) requirements for arranging provision of hospice care and primarily focuses on the information that must be contained in an agreement for hospice services between a hospice and nursing center.  Facilities must be in compliance by August 26, 2013 according to the preamble of the regulation, “This final rule sets forth requirements consistent with requirements in the June 5, 2008 final rule (73 FR 32088) titled ‘‘Medicare and Medicaid Program: Hospice Conditions of Participation.’’  This final rule also supports current LTC requirements that protect a resident’s right to a dignified existence, self-determination, and communication with, and access to, persons and services inside and outside the facility.”