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New Long Term Care Laws Up for Review at White House
Long term care facilities are on the White House agenda this week, as two proposed changes for the emergency preparedness standards and fire safety guidelines have arrived at the White House for review.
The first proposed change was initiated by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2013 following Hurricane Katrina. Many of the deaths that occurred in hospitals and nursing homes following the natural disaster were reviewed and were found to be preventable, had the proposed guidelines been in place.
The second rule proposed some updates in the fire safety guidelines for healthcare facilities allowing for décor treated with flame retardant to be hung on the walls and doors to create a more home-like setting. In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services may relax provisions regarding cooking facilities being open corridors to facilitate the home-like environment in facilities with 30 or fewer beds.
The Office of Management and Budget began review on November 3, 2015. In the meantime, facilities should ensure that their disaster preparedness protocols are updated and functional for natural and manmade disasters.