On April 10, CMS posted revisions to surveyor guidance at several tags to make guidance more “culture change friendly.” Also, language at F255 - Private Closet Space, was moved to F461 which also covers closets. While most modifications are modest, the intent is to both allow and encourage nursing homes to incorporate culture change elements in their delivery of care and in the physical environment.
It is important to note, that, consistent with survey and certification memorandum that was issued in January 2008 (S&C-08-10: Use of Interpretive Guidance by Surveyors for Long Term Care Facilities) interpretive guidance is for educational purposes and citations must be based on noncompliance with statutory or regulatory requirements.
These new interpretive guidelines will be implemented June 17, 2009. If you have questions, please contact Lyn Bentley at lbentley@ahca.