Since the beginning of 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released numerous memos to state survey agency directors. Two of these memorandums involve emergency power sources and temperature requirements. While healthcare facilities have known for some time of the new requirements, these recent updates have raised questions and concerns.
As stated by the CMS it is up to each facility, based on its risk assessment, to determine the most appropriate alternate energy sources to maintain adequate temperature. However, with the recent February 1, 2019, Emergency Preparedness – Updates to Appendix Z, some long-term care facilities are now required to maintain specific temperatures. It is no longer up to the facility based on its risk assessment. It now states temperatures will remain between 71 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit (page 23).
The second memorandum, released March 5, 2019 (Revisions to Appendix Q, Guidance on Immediate Jeopard) provides state agencies guidance determining key components of immediate jeopardy. One of the examples (page 22) states “Allowing temperatures to significantly raise or drop outside of 71 to 81 degrees.” Now the question is, how does the AHJ surveyor define “significantly” and decide non-compliance?
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