United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 28, 2020
A skilled nursing facility must care for its residents in such a manner and in such an environment as will promote maintenance or enhancement of the quality of life of each resident.
A skilled nursing facility must maintain a quality assessment and assurance committee, consisting of the director of nursing services, a physician designated by the facility, and at least 3 other members of the facility’s staff, which (i) meets at least quarterly to identify issues with respect to which quality assessment and assurance activities are necessary and (ii) develops and implements appropriate plans of action to correct identified quality deficiencies. A State or the Secretary may not require disclosure of the records of such committee except insofar as such disclosure is related to the compliance of such committee with the requirements of this subparagraph.
Each such assessment must be conducted or coordinated (with the appropriate participation of health professionals) by a registered professional nurse who signs and certifies the completion of the assessment. Each individual who completes a portion of such an assessment shall sign and certify as to the accuracy of that portion of the assessment.
If a State determines, under a survey under subsection (g) or otherwise, that there has been a knowing and willful certification of false assessments under this paragraph, the State may require (for a period specified by the State) that resident assessments under this paragraph be conducted and certified by individuals who are independent of the facility and who are approved by the State.
The skilled nursing facility must examine each resident no less frequently than once every 3 months and, as appropriate, revise the resident’s assessment to assure the continuing accuracy of the assessment.
The results of such an assessment shall be used in developing, reviewing, and revising the resident’s plan of care under paragraph (2).
Such assessments shall be coordinated with any State-required preadmission screening program to the maximum extent practicable in order to avoid duplicative testing and effort.
Services described in clauses (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), and (vi) of subparagraph (A) must be provided by qualified persons in accordance with each resident’s written plan of care.
Except as provided in clause (ii), a skilled nursing facility must provide 24-hour licensed nursing service which is sufficient to meet nursing needs of its residents and must use the services of a registered professional nurse at least 8 consecutive hours a day, 7 days a week.
A skilled nursing facility must provide, for individuals used as a nurse aide 2
The skilled nursing facility must not permit an individual, other than in a training and competency evaluation program approved by the State, to serve as a nurse aide or provide services of a type for which the individual has not demonstrated competency and must not use such an individual as a nurse aide unless the facility has inquired of any State registry established under subsection (e)(2)(A) that the facility believes will include information concerning the individual.
For purposes of subparagraph (A), if, since an individual’s most recent completion of a training and competency evaluation program, there has been a continuous period of 24 consecutive months during none of which the individual performed nursing or nursing-related services for monetary compensation, such individual shall complete a new training and competency evaluation program or a new competency evaluation program.
The skilled nursing facility must provide such regular performance review and regular in-service education as assures that individuals used as nurse aides are competent to perform services as nurse aides, including training for individuals providing nursing and nursing-related services to residents with cognitive impairments.
In this paragraph, the term “licensed health professional” means a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, physical, speech, or occupational therapist, physical or occupational therapy assistant, registered professional nurse, licensed practical nurse, licensed or certified social worker, registered respiratory therapist, or certified respiratory therapy technician.
In the case of a skilled nursing facility with more than 120 beds, the facility must have at least one social worker (with at least a bachelor’s degree in social work or similar professional qualifications) employed full-time to provide or assure the provision of social services.
A skilled nursing facility shall post daily for each shift the current number of licensed and unlicensed nursing staff directly responsible for resident care in the facility. The information shall be displayed in a uniform manner (as specified by the Secretary) and in a clearly visible place.
A skilled nursing facility shall, upon request, make available to the public the nursing staff data described in subparagraph (A).
The right to choose a personal attending physician, to be fully informed in advance about care and treatment, to be fully informed in advance of any changes in care or treatment that may affect the resident’s well-being, and (except with respect to a resident adjudged incompetent) to participate in planning care and treatment or changes in care and treatment.
The right to privacy with regard to accommodations, medical treatment, written and telephonic communications, visits, and meetings of family and of resident groups.
The right to confidentiality of personal and clinical records and to access to current clinical records of the resident upon request by the resident or the resident’s legal representative, within 24 hours (excluding hours occurring during a weekend or holiday) after making such a request.
The right to voice grievances with respect to treatment or care that is (or fails to be) furnished, without discrimination or reprisal for voicing the grievances and the right to prompt efforts by the facility to resolve grievances the resident may have, including those with respect to the behavior of other residents.
The right of the resident to organize and participate in resident groups in the facility and the right of the resident’s family to meet in the facility with the families of other residents in the facility.
The right of the resident to participate in social, religious, and community activities that do not interfere with the rights of other residents in the facility.
The right to examine, upon reasonable request, the results of the most recent survey of the facility conducted by the Secretary or a State with respect to the facility and any plan of correction in effect with respect to the facility.
The right to refuse a transfer to another room within the facility, if a purpose of the transfer is to relocate the resident from a portion of the facility that is a skilled nursing facility (for purposes of this subchapter) to a portion of the facility that is not such a skilled nursing facility.
Any other right established by the Secretary.
In the case of a resident adjudged incompetent under the laws of a State, the rights of the resident under this subchapter shall devolve upon, and, to the extent judged necessary by a court of competent jurisdiction, be exercised by, the person appointed under State law to act on the resident’s behalf.
Psychopharmacologic drugs may be administered only on the orders of a physician and only as part of a plan (included in the written plan of care described in paragraph (2)) designed to eliminate or modify the symptoms for which the drugs are prescribed and only if, at least annually, an independent, external consultant reviews the appropriateness of the drug plan of each resident receiving such drugs. In determining whether such a consultant is qualified to conduct reviews under the preceding sentence, the Secretary shall take into account the needs of nursing facilities under this subchapter to have access to the services of such a consultant on a timely basis.
A skilled nursing facility must comply with the requirement of section 1395cc(f) of this title (relating to maintaining written policies and procedures respecting advance directives).
A skilled nursing facility must provide sufficient preparation and orientation to residents to ensure safe and orderly transfer or discharge from the facility.
A skilled nursing facility must establish and maintain identical policies and practices regarding transfer, discharge, and covered services under this subchapter for all individuals regardless of source of payment.
Subparagraph (A) shall not be construed as preventing States or political subdivisions therein from prohibiting, under State or local law, the discrimination against individuals who are entitled to medical assistance under this subchapter with respect to admissions practices of skilled nursing facilities.
Subparagraph (A)(ii) shall not be construed as preventing a facility from requiring an individual, who has legal access to a resident’s income or resources available to pay for care in the facility, to sign a contract (without incurring personal financial liability) to provide payment from the resident’s income or resources for such care.
The facility must deposit any amount of personal funds in excess of $100 with respect to a resident in an interest bearing account (or accounts) that is separate from any of the facility’s operating accounts and credits 3
The facility must assure a full and complete separate accounting of each such resident’s personal funds, maintain a written record of all financial transactions involving the personal funds of a resident deposited with the facility, and afford the resident (or a legal representative of the resident) reasonable access to such record.
Upon the death of a resident with such an account, the facility must convey promptly the resident’s personal funds (and a final accounting of such funds) to the individual administering the resident’s estate.
The facility must purchase a surety bond, or otherwise provide assurance satisfactory to the Secretary, to assure the security of all personal funds of residents deposited with the facility.
The facility may not impose a charge against the personal funds of a resident for any item or service for which payment is made under this subchapter or subchapter XIX.
A skilled nursing facility must be administered in a manner that enables it to use its resources effectively and efficiently to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident (consistent with requirements established under subsection (f)(5)).
The administrator of a skilled nursing facility must meet standards established by the Secretary under subsection (f)(4).
A skilled nursing facility must be licensed under applicable State and local law.
A skilled nursing facility must operate and provide services in compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations (including the requirements of section 1320a–3 of this title) and with accepted professional standards and principles which apply to professionals providing services in such a facility.
A skilled nursing facility must meet such other requirements relating to the health, safety, and well-being of residents or relating to the physical facilities thereof as the Secretary may find necessary.
By not later than
The registry under subparagraph (A) shall provide (in accordance with regulations of the Secretary) for the inclusion of specific documented findings by a State under subsection (g)(1)(C) of resident neglect or abuse or misappropriation of resident property involving an individual listed in the registry, as well as any brief statement of the individual disputing the findings, but shall not include any allegations of resident abuse or neglect or misappropriation of resident property that are not specifically documented by the State under such subsection. The State shall make available to the public information in the registry. In the case of inquiries to the registry concerning an individual listed in the registry, any information disclosed concerning such a finding shall also include disclosure of any
A State may not impose any charges on a nurse aide relating to the registry established and maintained under subparagraph (A).
The State, for transfers and discharges from skilled nursing facilities effected on or after
By not later than
It is the duty and responsibility of the Secretary to assure that requirements which govern the provision of care in skilled nursing facilities under this subchapter, and the enforcement of such requirements, are adequate to protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents and to promote the effective and efficient use of public moneys.
Upon application of a nursing facility, the Secretary may waive the application of subparagraph (B)(iii)(I)(c) if the imposition of the civil monetary penalty was not related to the quality of care provided to residents of the facility. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed as eliminating any requirement upon a facility to pay a civil monetary penalty described in the preceding sentence.
For purposes of subsections (c)(2)(B)(iii)(I) and (e)(3), by not later than
For purposes of subsections (d)(1)(C) and (e)(4), the Secretary shall develop, by not later than
Pursuant to the requirement of section 21(b) of the Medicare-Medicaid Anti-Fraud and Abuse Amendments of 1977, the Secretary shall issue regulations, on or before the first day of the seventh month to begin after
If the Secretary does not issue the regulations under subparagraph (A) on or before the date required in such subparagraph, in the case of a resident of a skilled nursing facility who is eligible to receive benefits under this part, the costs which may not be charged to the personal funds of such resident (and for which payment is considered to be made under this subchapter) shall include, at a minimum, the costs for routine personal hygiene items and services furnished by the facility.
The Secretary shall conduct a special focus facility program for enforcement of requirements for skilled nursing facilities that the Secretary has identified as having substantially failed to meet applicable requirement 7
Under such program the Secretary shall conduct surveys of each facility in the program not less than once every 6 months.
Pursuant to an agreement under section 1395aa of this title, each State shall be responsible for certifying, in accordance with surveys conducted under paragraph (2), the compliance of skilled nursing facilities (other than facilities of the State) with the requirements of subsections (b), (c), and (d). The Secretary shall be responsible for certifying, in accordance with surveys conducted under paragraph (2), the compliance of State skilled nursing facilities with the requirements of such subsections.
Each State shall conduct periodic educational programs for the staff and residents (and their representatives) of skilled nursing facilities in order to present current regulations, procedures, and policies under this section.
The State shall provide, through the agency responsible for surveys and certification of nursing facilities under this subsection, for a process for the receipt and timely review and investigation of allegations of neglect and abuse and misappropriation of resident property by a nurse aide of a resident in a nursing facility or by another individual used by the facility in providing services to such a resident. The State shall, after providing the individual involved with a written notice of the allegations (including a statement of the availability of a hearing for the individual to rebut the allegations) and the opportunity for a hearing on the record, make a written finding as to the accuracy of the allegations. If the State finds that a nurse aide has neglected or abused a resident or misappropriated resident property in a facility, the State shall notify the nurse aide and the registry of such finding. If the State finds that any other individual used by the facility has neglected or abused a resident or misappropriated resident property in a facility, the State shall notify the appropriate licensure authority. A State shall not make a finding that an individual has neglected a resident if the individual demonstrates that such neglect was caused by factors beyond the control of the individual.
In no case shall a determination on a petition submitted under clause (i) be made prior to the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on the date on which the name of the petitioner was added to the registry under subparagraph (C).
The failure of the Secretary to issue regulations to carry out this subsection shall not relieve a State of its responsibility under this subsection.
Each skilled nursing facility shall be subject to a standard survey, to be conducted without any prior notice to the facility. Any individual who notifies (or causes to be notified) a skilled nursing facility of the time or date on which such a survey is scheduled to be conducted is subject to a civil money penalty of not to exceed $2,000. The provisions of section 1320a–7a of this title (other than subsections (a) and (b)) shall apply to a civil money penalty under the previous sentence in the same manner as such provisions apply to a penalty or proceeding under section 1320a–7a(a) of this title. The Secretary shall review each State’s procedures for the scheduling and conduct of standard surveys to assure that the State has taken all reasonable steps to avoid giving notice of such a survey through the scheduling procedures and the conduct of the surveys themselves.
Each skilled nursing facility shall be subject to a standard survey not later than 15 months after the date of the previous standard survey conducted under this subparagraph. The Statewide average interval between standard surveys of skilled nursing facilities under this subsection shall not exceed 12 months.
If not otherwise conducted under subclause (I), a standard survey (or an abbreviated standard survey) may be conducted within 2 months of any change of ownership, administration, management of a skilled nursing facility, or the director of nursing in order to determine whether the change has resulted in any decline in the quality of care furnished in the facility.
Each skilled nursing facility which is found, under a standard survey, to have provided substandard quality of care shall be subject to an extended survey. Any other facility may, at the Secretary’s or State’s discretion, be subject to such an extended survey (or a partial extended survey).
The extended survey shall be conducted immediately after the standard survey (or, if not practicable, not later than 2 weeks after the date of completion of the standard survey).
In such an extended survey, the survey team shall review and identify the policies and procedures which produced such substandard quality of care and shall determine whether the facility has complied with all the requirements described in subsections (b), (c), and (d). Such review shall include an expansion of the size of the sample of residents’ assessments reviewed and a review of the staffing, of in-service training, and, if appropriate, of contracts with consultants.
Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as requiring an extended or partial extended survey as a prerequisite to imposing a sanction against a facility under subsection (h) on the basis of findings in a standard survey.
Each State and the Secretary shall implement programs to measure and reduce inconsistency in the application of survey results among surveyors.
Surveys under this subsection shall be conducted by a multidisciplinary team of professionals (including a registered professional nurse).
A State may not use as a member of a survey team under this subsection an individual who is serving (or has served within the previous 2 years) as a member of the staff of, or as a consultant to, the facility surveyed respecting compliance with the requirements of subsections (b), (c), and (d), or who has a personal or familial financial interest in the facility being surveyed.
The Secretary shall provide for the comprehensive training of State and Federal surveyors in the conduct of standard and extended surveys under this subsection, including the auditing of resident assessments and plans of care. No individual shall serve as a member of a survey team unless the individual has successfully completed a training and testing program in survey and certification techniques that has been approved by the Secretary.
The Secretary shall conduct onsite surveys of a representative sample of skilled nursing facilities in each State, within 2 months of the date of surveys conducted under paragraph (2) by the State, in a sufficient number to allow inferences about the adequacies of each State’s surveys conducted under paragraph (2). In conducting such surveys, the Secretary shall use the same survey protocols as the State is required to use under paragraph (2). If the State has determined that an individual skilled nursing facility meets the requirements of subsections (b), (c), and (d), but the Secretary determines that the facility does not meet such requirements, the Secretary’s determination as to the facility’s noncompliance with such requirements is binding and supersedes that of the State survey.
With respect to each State, the Secretary shall conduct surveys under subparagraph (A) each year with respect to at least 5 percent of the number of skilled nursing facilities surveyed by the State in the year, but in no case less than 5 skilled nursing facilities in the State.
If the Secretary finds, on the basis of such surveys, that a State has failed to perform surveys as required under paragraph (2) or that a State’s survey and certification performance otherwise is not adequate, the Secretary shall provide for an appropriate remedy, which may include the training of survey teams in the State.
Where the Secretary has reason to question the compliance of a skilled nursing facility with any of the requirements of subsections (b), (c), and (d), the Secretary may conduct a survey of the facility and, on the basis of that survey, make independent and binding determinations concerning the extent to which the skilled nursing facility meets such requirements.
Each State shall notify the State long-term care ombudsman (established under title III or VII of the Older Americans Act of 1965 [42 U.S.C. 3021 et seq., 3058 et seq.] in accordance with section 712 of the Act [42 U.S.C. 3058g]) of the State’s findings of noncompliance with any of the requirements of subsections (b), (c), and (d), or of any adverse action taken against a skilled nursing facility under paragraph (1), (2), or (4) of subsection (h), with respect to a skilled nursing facility in the State.
Each State shall provide its State medicaid fraud and abuse control unit (established under section 1396b(q) of this title) with access to all information of the State agency responsible for surveys and certifications under this subsection.
In order to improve the timeliness of information made available to the public under subparagraph (A) and provided on the Nursing Home Compare Medicare website under subsection (i), each State shall submit information respecting any survey or certification made respecting a skilled nursing facility (including any enforcement actions taken by the State) to the Secretary not later than the date on which the State sends such information to the facility. The Secretary shall use the information submitted under the preceding sentence to update the information provided on the Nursing Home Compare Medicare website as expeditiously as practicable but not less frequently than quarterly.
The Secretary may deny any further payments under this subchapter with respect to all individuals entitled to benefits under this subchapter in the facility or with respect to such individuals admitted to the facility after the effective date of the finding.
Subject to subclause (II), the Secretary may impose a civil money penalty in an amount not to exceed $10,000 for each day of noncompliance. The provisions of section 1320a–7a of this title (other than subsections (a) and (b)) shall apply to a civil money penalty under the previous sentence in the same manner as such provisions apply to a penalty or proceeding under section 1320a–7a(a) of this title.
Subject to subclause (III), in the case where a facility self-reports and promptly corrects a deficiency for which a penalty was imposed under this clause not later than 10 calendar days after the date of such imposition, the Secretary may reduce the amount of the penalty imposed by not more than 50 percent.
The Secretary may not reduce the amount of a penalty under subclause (II) if the Secretary had reduced a penalty imposed on the facility in the preceding year under such subclause with respect to a repeat deficiency.
The Secretary may not reduce the amount of a penalty under subclause (II) if the penalty is imposed on the facility for a deficiency that is found to result in a pattern of harm or widespread harm, immediately jeopardizes the health or safety of a resident or residents of the facility, or results in the death of a resident of the facility.
If a skilled nursing facility has not complied with any of the requirements of subsections (b), (c), and (d), within 3 months after the date the facility is found to be out of compliance with such requirements, the Secretary shall impose the remedy described in subparagraph (B)(i) for all individuals who are admitted to the facility after such date.
A finding to deny payment under this subsection shall terminate when the Secretary finds that the facility is in substantial compliance with all the requirements of subsections (b), (c), and (d).
If the Secretary finds that a skilled nursing facility has not met a requirement of subsection (b), (c), or (d), and finds that the failure immediately jeopardizes the health or safety of its residents, the Secretary shall take immediate action to remove the jeopardy and correct the deficiencies through the remedy specified in paragraph (2)(B)(iii), or the Secretary, subject to section 1320a–7j(h) of this title, shall terminate the facility’s participation under this subchapter. If the facility’s participation under this subchapter is terminated, the State shall provide for the safe and orderly transfer of the residents eligible under this subchapter consistent with the requirements of subsection (c)(2) and section 1320a–7j(h) of this title.
The remedies provided under this subsection are in addition to those otherwise available under State or Federal law and shall not be construed as limiting such other remedies, including any remedy available to an individual at common law. The remedies described in clauses (i), (ii)(IV), and (iii) of paragraph (2)(B) may be imposed during the pendency of any hearing.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all information concerning skilled nursing facilities required by this section to be filed with the Secretary or a State agency shall be made available by such facilities to Federal or State employees for purposes consistent with the effective administration of programs established under this subchapter and subchapter XIX, including investigations by State medicaid fraud control units.
Except as provided in clause (ii), the Secretary shall ensure that the information described in subparagraph (A) is included on such website (or a successor website) not later than 1 year after
The Secretary shall ensure that the information described in subparagraph (A)(i) is included on such website (or a successor website) not later than the date on which the requirements under section 1320a–7j(g) of this title are implemented.
The Secretary shall transfer to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Program Management Account, from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund under section 1395i of this title a one-time allocation of $11,000,000. The amount shall be available on
Where requirements or obligations under this section are identical to those provided under section 1396r of this title, the fulfillment of those requirements or obligations under section 1396r of this title shall be considered to be the fulfillment of the corresponding requirements or obligations under this section.