As a follow up to the notice we sent out yesterday, March 17, 2019, please note that in its Friday, 3/13/2020 guidance, CMS required SNF residents to be monitored for signs and symptoms of respiratory distress “frequently.” CMS did not, however, define “frequently.” In response to this, we recommended that documentation not be done by exception and that in an effort to show compliance, each facility should consider Q-8 hour monitoring checks for signs and symptoms of respiratory distress, possibly connecting those checks with med pass, and documenting the checks on MARs.
In its press conference yesterday afternoon, CDC clarified that residents should be monitored for signs and symptoms of respiratory distress at least once daily, unless a facility has a confirmed case of COVID-19, at which time the monitoring should increase to at least twice daily. Your facility may set internal standards of monitoring more frequently than the CDC has recommended, but a facility should be deemed compliant by CMS with its monitoring guidelines if it follows these CDC recommendations. We continue to recommend documenting these monitoring checks.
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