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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
January 05, 2009

Heather Howard
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160


 
DHSS Proposes Amendments at N.J.A.C. 8:39-1.2 and New Rules at N.J.A.C. 8:39-41, Governing Mandatory Staff Posting and Reporting Standards for Long-Term Care Facilities


 

The Office of Certificate of Need and Healthcare Facility Licensure of the Health Facilities Evaluation and Licensing Division in the Senior Services and Health Systems Branch of the Department of Health and Senior Services (Department) is proposing amendments at N.J.A.C. 8:39-1.2, which establishes definitions relevant to long-term care facilities. The Department is also proposing new rules at N.J.A.C. 8:39-41, governing Mandatory Staff Posting and Reporting Standards. The notice of proposal appears in the January 5, 2009 issue of the New Jersey Register.

N.J.A.C. 8:39-41 would implement P.L. 2005 c. 21, 1, 2, and 3 approved on January 24, 2005, and codified at N.J.S.A. 26:2H-5f, 5g and 5h, which requires the Department to promulgate rules to establish standards for licensed long-term care facilities, commonly known as nursing homes, to post and make available to the public direct resident care staffing levels within the facilities and to report staffing level information to the Department. The proposed new rules would fulfill this statutory requirement.

In particular, the proposed new rules would establish the framework for licensed long-term care facilities to collect and post daily information about direct resident care staffing levels for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nurse aides on a shift- by-shift basis, as required by the statute. In addition, the proposed new rules would also incorporate into the rules and require long-term care facilities to post the direct resident care staffing information set forth at 42 C.F.R. 483.30(e). The proposed new rules would establish the method for reporting aggregated data to the Department, the methods of obtaining the quarterly report that the Department will issue, the circumstances where the facility has to provide the information in a language other than English, and the penalty for violating the rules. The Department is proposing to publish and incorporate by reference as part of N.J.A.C. 8:39-41, Appendix G, the Resident Care Staffing Report, which licensed long-term care facilities would be required to complete and post on a daily basis. The Department also proposes amendments at N.J.A.C. 8:39-1.2 to add new definitions in connection with the proposed new rules.

The public has until March 6, 2009 to comment on the notice of proposal. Persons wishing to comment on the proposal must submit their comments in writing to Ruth Charbonneau, Director, Office of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Health and Senior Services, PO Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360. Written comments on the proposal must be postmarked on or before March 6, 2009, which is the close of the 60-day public comment period.

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