Social Media Policies Become Focus of Surveyors

shutterstock_116416768CMS issued a S&C Memo on August 5th addressing Protecting Resident Privacy and Prohibiting Mental Abuse Related to Photographs and Audio/Video Recordings by Nursing Home Staff (S&C: 16-33-NH) – Memo.  Within this memo, CMS directs each nursing home to develop and implement written policies and procedures that prohibit all forms of abuse, including mental abuse. Each nursing home must review and/or revise their written abuse prevention policies and procedures to include and ensure that nursing home staff are prohibited from taking or using photographs or recordings in any manner that would demean or humiliate a resident(s). This would include using any type of equipment (e.g., cameras, smart phones, and other electronic devices) to take, keep, or distribute photographs and recordings on social media.

Specifically, this memo directs survey teams to begin reviewing provider practices 30 days after the release of this memo – September 5, 2016.  We encourage all providers to review Abuse policies and make the necessary revisions to protect resident privacy and freedom from abuse – including mental abuse.  Once completed, schedule training sessions to educate staff on policy updates.  Remember to include the following that CMS has defined as nursing staff – employees, consultants, contractors, volunteers, and other caregivers who provide care and services to residents on behalf of the facility.

For those whose survey window opens within the next 30 days, it is important to begin this process immediately. Our clinical team, RMS, is available to assist in policy review, modification, and training.  For more information, contact an AssuredPartners NL Senior Living Agent.


Source: CMS

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