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.
If you have any questions or need assistance understanding and implementing the federal, state, or local guidance regarding COVID-19, please contact one of our attorneys.
Reed Bates at RBates@starneslaw.com
Rick Harris at RHarris@starneslaw.com
Alicia Harrison at AHarrison@starneslaw.com
Stephen Still at SStill@starneslaw.com
Will Davis at WDavis@starneslaw.com
Weathers Bolt at WBolt@starneslaw.com
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