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    Nursing home oversight gets a boost with CMS proposal

    At the White House Conference on Aging, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) proposed new rules to improve the care of approximately 1.5 million elderly who reside in more than 15,000 long-term care (LTC) facilities nationwide.

    The proposal aims to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions and infections, improve quality care, and strengthen safety measures for these Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, according to statement from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    Psychiatric pharmacist helps to optimize patient care

    The proposed rule, which was released on July 13, is a major overhaul of nursing home care and is expected to cost the industry approximately $729 million in the first year and $638 million in the second year.

    “We’re proposing some new guidelines to improve high quality care in long-term care facilities across the country,” wrote HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell in a recent HHS blog post. “There are 15,000 facilities across the country that we will reach with these new measures, which means many more Americans will get higher quality care, and many nurse aides will be able to access new training on handling dementia patients and preventing elder abuse.”

    Pharmacist services

    The proposal includes a requirement that a pharmacist review a LTC resident’s medical chart at least every 6 months, at the time the resident is new to the facility, when a prior resident returns or is transferred from a hospital or other facility, and during each monthly drug regimen review when a psychotropic drug or antibiotic is prescribed.

    Julia Talsma, Content Channel Director
    Julia Talsma is lead editor for Drug Topics magazine.

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