Authored By: David W. Bufford
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) just released a Survey & Certification Letter (S&C: 12-04-NH) to address a recent report of a nursing facility resident death due to a smoking accident. A resident who was deemed appropriate to smoke unsupervised, but failing to wear a smoking apron, died as the result of injuries she sustained while smoking unsupervised outside a facility. CMS published the Letter to review the current regulations and Guidance to Surveyors at 42 CFR 483.25(h), and tag F323, Accidents and Supervision.
CMS restated that survey agencies must do all they can to remind and encourage nursing homes with residents who smoke to take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of residents to the maximum extent possible. The above regulation Guidance describes appropriate precautions such as smoking only in designated areas, supervising residents whose assessment and plans of care indicate a need for supervised smoking, and limiting the accessibility of matches and lighters by residents who need supervision when smoking. (more…)