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Nursing Home Regulations During COVID - What Has Changed?

Nursing home residents and caregivers currently make up about one-third of all COVID deaths in the United States, with over 28,000 deaths. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), have loosened federal nursing home regulations during the pandemic. Nursing homes are allowed to have COVID-positive residents, under certain guidelines

Residents and families may notice some changes. 

- Nursing homes can use rooms like conference and dining rooms for beds and residents.

- Nursing homes can use other buildings to isolate COVID-positive residents. 

- Nursing homes now have ten working days to give a resident a copy of his or her medical records. 

- Nursing homes do not allow visitors, except for end-of-life situations. During those visits, screening and masks are required, and family members are required to maintain a distance from their loved one.  

- Social activities are not required. 

- Residents may not be able to choose their roomate or receive advance notice before being moved. Facilities are not required to tell residents or their families why they were moved. 

- Many types of staff may feed or care for residents, even without certain qualifications or training. 

- Services like barbers and hairdressers are not permitted. 

Residents still have the right to get their medical records, speak with their families, and contact their State ombudsman program, which can investigate complaints and help resolve concerns with the facility. 

If you have concerns about your loved one's care in a New Mexico nursing home, please contact our office. We are available. 

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