The State recently reported how nursing homes in South Carolina ignored reporting requirements during COVID. The facilities claim they ere more interested in patient care than documenting that they actually provided the care. However, documentation is a necessary part of the nursing process and quality of care. Documentation allows communication among different caregivers; helps determine if the care plan is effective; required for reimbursement purposes to prevent fraud and waste; and is meant to protect the caregivers.
DHEC issued a public health order requiring that facilities submit visitor reports to the DHEC every Monday by 5 p.m. The visitation reports keep DHEC informed about safety and compliance. The online visitation status list serves as a public resource for anyone planning a visit.
Completing the visitation form is far from burdensome. It asks only a single yes or no question. However, most Administrators ignored the new requirement. Now, the industry is complaining about the fines. Incredible.
Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Act of 2021
Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford reintroduced the Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Act of 2021. This legislation would require CMS to publish demographic information. The information may include data on COVID-19 infections and deaths in long-term care facilities. This will increase accountability and transparency for families on the quality of care in nursing homes.
“Throughout the pandemic, our nursing home residents and staff have suffered high rates of COVID-19-related deaths. The Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Act will improve accountability and transparency and give families peace of mind in knowing how nursing homes are handling the pandemic and keeping their loved ones safe.”
The law provides statutory authority to require facilities to report data. The legislation then requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to publish on the Nursing Home Compare website certain demographic information, aggregated by state, with respect to COVID-19 infections and deaths in such facilities.
You can find the full text of the bill here.