CMS Proposes Adoption of Updated Life Safety Code for Inpatient Hospice, Other Providers
April 18, 2014 07:05 AM
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced a proposed rule on the adoption of an updated life safety code (LSC) that CMS would use in its ongoing work to ensure the health and safety of all patients, family, and staff in every provider and supplier setting. The updated code contains new provisions that are vital to the health and safety of all patients and staff.
A key priority of CMS is to ensure that patients and staff continue to experience the highest degree of safety possible, including fire safety. CMS intends to adopt the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 2012 editions of the (LSC) and the Health Care Facilities Code (HCFC). This would reduce burden on health care providers, as the 2012 edition of the LSC also is aligned with internationally-recognized building codes and would make compliance across codes much simpler for Medicare and Medicaid-participating facilities.
The Health Care Facilities Code contains more detailed provisions specific to health care and ambulatory care facilities, as well. Adoption of this code would provide minimum requirements for the installation, inspection, testing, maintenance, performance, and safe practices of health care facility materials, equipment and appliances.
The new edition of the LSC applies to: hospitals, long term care facilities (LTC), critical access hospitals (CAHs), Programs for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), religious non-medical healthcare institutions (RNHCIs), hospice inpatient facilities, ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF-IIDs).
Adoption of the new LSC for Health Care Facilities Code - applicable to hospice inpatient facilities - would make the following changes:
Would allow facilities to increase suite sizes;
Would require all high-rise buildings over 75’ are required to be fully sprinklered within 12 years;
Would allow controlled access doors to prevent wandering patients;
Would address issues of alcohol based hand rub dispensers in corridors and patient rooms;
Would require a fire watch (The assignment of a person or persons to an area for the express purpose of notifying appropriate people during an emergency) or building evacuation if a sprinkler system is out of service for more than 4 hours; and
Would require smoke control in anesthetizing locations.
The proposed rule was published in the April 16, 2014 Federal Register. The deadline to submit comments is June, 16, 2014. The full text of the CMS fact sheet is available here.
NAHC's Hospice Association of America (HAA) is analyzing the changes for their impact and will provide additional information as appropriate in a future issue of NAHC Report.