CMS Supports New Dining Practice Standards

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently published a memorandum to surveyors regarding long-term care organizations’ implementation of the New Dining Practice Standards. CMS also provided a training video to its surveyors on new recommended nursing home dining practices that focus on resident choice and limiting the use of restricted diets. The video features frequent Action Pact contributor Carmen Bowman. Carmen and Action Pact’s senior consultant Linda Bump, MPH, RD helped draft the New Dining Practice Standards put out by the Food and Dining Clinical Standards Task Force on which the video is based. The work of the task force, which resulted in the New Dining Practice Standards, was sponsored by The Pioneer Network and The Rothschild Foundation. This work sprung from the 2010 national symposia “Creating Home in the Nursing Home II: A National Symposium on Culture Change and the Food and Dining Requirements,” which was co-sponsored by CMS and the Pioneer Network to address the challenges of honoring resident rights and choice in dining, consistent with OBRA 1987.

Action Pact consultant, Linda Bump also contributed a white paper The Deep Seated Issues of Choice as a background paper for the 2010 symposia.

“The memorandum and accompanying video from CMS are important resources in support of implementation of the new standards,” Linda said. “While CMS states that the new practice standards ‘do not represent CMS requirements’, the memorandum also states ‘facilities that opt to adhere to these practice standards may rely on such adherence in response to questions regarding any changes from more restrictive diet protocols previous used.’ This clear indication of CMS support should remove any question of regulatory compliance from the decision of an organization to adopt the new standards that honor resident rights to autonomy and self-determination in choosing foods and beverages in a nursing home, just as they did their community home, which are also federal CMS requirements of the home to follow.” Carmen Bowman, the facilitator of the New Dining Practice Standards Task Force, also points out that if you read the new standards you will see that in each of the 10 sections, CMS regulation text and/or CMS interpretive guidance is quoted.

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