Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, visitation to NJ long-term care facilities has been severely restricted. The NJ Department of Health has issued guidance that allows LTC residents to have limited visitation in very specific circumstances. In addition, the NJ DOH has issued visitation guidance for the holiday season. General visitation and testing guidance was issued on October 20, 2020. (See page 22.) Holiday visitation guidance was issued on November 16, 2020. If If you have questions or concerns about visiting long-term care facilities, contact the NJ LTCO.
The LTCO has received numerous requests for clarification about what information facilities should send to LTCO when a resident is subject to a transfer to an acute care facility on an emergency basis. Below is an explanation of the background of this issue and direction on what information the LTCO will accept.
Background: On May, 12, 2017 CMS drafted a memorandum to State Survey Agency Directors. The CMS memorandum explained notification requirements for facilities when transferring residents to an acute care facility on an emergent basis. The memorandum directed facilities operating pursuant to CMS regulations to do the following:
In the event of an emergency transfer to an acute care facility, the notice provided to the resident or their representative and copied to the LTCO MUST contain:
As per the above CMS guidance, the LTCO will accept list of residents who are subject to a temporary emergency transfer on a monthly basis. However, the list must also include a copy of the notice that was given to the resident or their legal representative. Here is a template for a grid/list that facilities can use to provide LTCO with the monthly list.
In addition, the list of temporary emergency transfers should indicate the four elements listed above: reason for discharge; effective date; location to which resident is being transferred; and contact information for LTCO. Here is a template for letter that includes all of the above elements
The NOTICES to the Ombudsman may be sent via:
NJ Long-Term Care Ombudsman
PO Box 852
Trenton, NJ 08625-0852
IMPORTANT – Per CMS, in situations where the facility has decided to discharge the resident while the resident is still hospitalized, the facility must immediately send a SEPARATE standard discharge notice to the resident or the resident’s representative and must copy the Ombudsman simultaneously. Sending a monthly list of involuntary discharges does not meet the standard for Ombudsman notification in facility-initiated discharges under 42 CFR 483.15 (c) (3)(i) and is UNACCEPTABLE.