CMS issues final rule updating Medicare/Medicaid fire safety standards

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) adopted updated provisions of the National Fire Protection Association’s 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code and its 2012 edition of the Health Care Facilities Code.

The new guidelines apply to hospitals; long-term care facilities; critical access hospitals; inpatient hospice facilities; programs for all-inclusive care for the elderly; religious nonmedical health care institutions; ambulatory surgical centers; and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The provisions in this final rule cover construction, protection and operational features designed to provide safety for Medicare beneficiaries from fire, smoke and panic. 

“This final rule meets health care facilities’ desire to modernize their environments while also ensuring the necessary steps to provide patients and staff with the appropriate level of safety,” said Kate Goodrich, M.D., MHS, director of the CMS’ Center for Clinical Standards and Quality. “Health care facilities can now be more homelike while ensuring that the most modern fire protection practices are in place.”

(Note:  I am sure there will be some more interpretation of the effects of this from the HTM community.  I don’t have the time to do it right now… Pat Lynch)