LeadingAge to CMS: Lack of Guidance on RoPs III is Concerning

Press Release | October 21, 2019

With less than six weeks to go before RoPs III are effective, the lack of guidance from CMS to nursing home providers and to state surveyors is concerning 

Media contact: Lisa Sanders
lsanders@leadingage.org / 202-508-9407

October 21, 2019 Washington DC -- LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nearly 2000 nursing homes, in a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, expresses concern for older adults and the nursing homes providers that care for them due to the lack of timely guidance from CMS on Phase III of the Requirements of Participation (RoPs), scheduled to be effective on Nov. 28, 2019.

With less than six weeks to go before that date, nursing homes across the country, including LeadingAge members, have no guidance from CMS on how compliance will be assessed on requirements covered on such key areas as person-centered care planning; trauma informed care; behavioral health services; and infection preventionist. This is particularly troubling given that CMS itself has acknowledged that Phase III requirements are the most complex and labor intensive with which to comply. This lack of guidance puts nursing homes in an untenable position, as compliance will require lead time for program development, resource allocation, and staff training.

The situation is even worse for state survey agencies. As of now, surveyors have received no instruction from CMS as to what compliance with these requirements will look like and how they are supposed to assess nursing home performance. This lack of guidance is bound to lead to wide variation in citations on the Phase III requirements.

“We have made every effort to help our members prepare for Phase III,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge. “Our members have put substantial effort into planning and compliance. But without the specifics of compliance from CMS, both providers and surveyors are working in the dark. Time now is too short for nursing homes and state survey agencies to be up to speed on Phase III by the rapidly approaching deadline. Quality nursing home care is important to all of us. Nursing homes and state agencies want to do a good job and fulfill their responsibilities to the best of their abilities. Please honor and facilitate that outcome by extending the Phase III deadline to give all of us a reasonable opportunity to be ready to comply with these requirements.”

To read the letter in its entirety, click here.

About LeadingAge
The mission of LeadingAge is to be the trusted voice for aging. Our 6,000+ members and partners include nonprofit organizations representing the entire field of aging services, 38 state associations, hundreds of businesses, consumer groups, foundations and research centers. LeadingAge is also part of the Global Ageing Network, whose membership spans 30 countries. LeadingAge is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization focused on education, advocacy and applied research.