What Are The Governing Laws for Organizations

What Are The Governing Laws for Organizations

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What Are The Governing Laws for Organizations

As much as most skilled nursing facilities emphasize a "homey" environment in their operations and treatment of residents, they are still are offering semi-public services to those with the means to be housed in such places. As such, they are bound, much as all businesses are, to sets of standards at both the state and federal level.

Regarding whether nursing home laws are primarily a manifestation of state or federal laws, really, both jurisdictions exert a great deal of influence on the consistent approval of facilities. State health departments use in-person visits as their main instrument to gauge nursing homes' accordance with nursing home law.

At least once a year, state surveyors will occupy skilled nursing facilities for their compliance with upwards of 100 different nursing and building operation codes, including the preparation of food according to standards of cleanliness and correctness as far as meeting the nutritional needs of individual residents goes, the safe storage of medical and non-medical supplies, non-restrictive protection of patient safety, and the general attitude of the staff and residents. As noted elsewhere, neglecting one or more of these areas may force the assessment of fines, additional reviews by surveyors, recommendations to cut federal funding, and takeovers by agents of the state.

As for federal nursing home laws to be met, again, compliance with benchmarks for Medicare and Medicaid receipt are not to be overlooked. One particular condition for the continued allocation of Social Security Act funds is the completion of what is known as the Minimum Data Set (MDS) instrument, authorized and reviewed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), itself governed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The MDS is an assessment tool that gauges how well residents/patients are performing in terms of their physical health and overall well-being. According to nursing home law, minimum data sets must be filled out for all residents within a facility, and accurately, at that. It goes without saying that other nursing home laws may not be violated in the act of completion, namely that of an individual's right to privacy in matters of his or her medical history.

Aside from the CMS and state health bureaus, other organizations have an interest in upholding the nursing home laws of the United States. One group in particular that exerts a sizable influence on applications of nursing home law in this country is the American Health Care Association.

AHCA, as it is known for short, is a non-profit, nationwide coalition of health care providers that advocates on behalf of all long-term residents in nursing facilities to get the highest quality of care possible, directly exerting pressure on Congress to amend nursing home laws along the lines of these pursuits. Meanwhile, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations serves as an additional watchdog on nursing homes and like facilities to insure that they are offering the best care for the greatest value possible. 

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