January 19, 2022

Volume XII, Number 19

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January 18, 2022

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CMS Removes All Nursing Home Visitation Restrictions as COVID-19 Cases Decrease

In order to continue addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on nursing home residents, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a memo updating guidance for nursing home visitation. You can read the full memo here.

Early in the pandemic, CMS implemented visitation restrictions to mitigate the risk of visitors introducing COVID-19 to nursing homes. Now, CMS is updating its guidance and allowing visitation for residents at all times. CMS explained its decision to allow visitation is based upon data which shows approximately 86% of residents and 74% of staff are fully vaccinated, and the number of new COVID-19 cases each week in nursing homes has dramatically decreased.

Under the new guidance, nursing homes cannot limit the frequency and length of visits for residents, the number of visitors, or require advance scheduling of visits as mandated under the previous guidance. However, CMS is still directing nursing homes to follow infection-control policies and procedures. Visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19, or currently meet the criteria for quarantine, should not enter the facility. Nursing homes should still screen all visitors before entry.

Although not required, CMS is encouraging nursing homes in counties with substantial or high levels of community transmission to offer testing to visitors, if feasible. Nursing homes should also educate and encourage visitors to become vaccinated. Visitors should still wear face coverings and social distance at all times while in the nursing home. Nursing homes should stay diligent in their infection-control efforts.

© 2022 Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 322
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About this Author

Sydney Pahren, Dinsmore Law Firm, Columbus, Corporate Law Attorney
Associate

Sydney is a member of Dinsmore’s Corporate Department, where she focuses her practice on health care law. 

She has experience researching legal issues in health care, litigation, labor & employment and corporate law. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law where she was an articles editor on the Ohio State Law Journal and an executive board member of the Black Law Students Association. 

614-628-6971
Timothy Cahill Health Care Attorney Dinsmore Law Firm
Partner Of Counsel

Tim is an attorney with more than two decades of experience in health care-related fields. He has worked as in-house counsel and external counsel for non-profit and commercial health care organizations, health systems, hospitals, physicians and physician groups, joint ventures, and other corporate clients. Most recently, Tim served in the role of general counsel of a regional health system, working closely with the executive team and board to further the organization’s strategic mission and significantly improve operating revenues.

In his practice, Tim has addressed a wide range...

614-227-4274
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