AUSTIN, Texas (KBTX) — The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has released new rules and guidelines for nursing and long-term care facilities that are effective immediately.
Texas nursing facilities will continue to follow protocols such as wearing face masks, but they can now allow close contact during visits for fully vaccinated patients, no time limits on visits, and end-of-stay visits. life for all residents, regardless of COVID-19 status.
It also means that facilities do not have to seek state visitation approval, monitor or escort visitors to and from the visitation area, or require negative COVID-19 test results for visitors. essential caregivers or visitors to salon services.
The state is following federal guidelines released this month by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
For the full list of new guidelines, see the press release below.
AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is expanding statewide visits to nursing and other long-term care facilities, starting today. In accordance with federal guidelines released March 10 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, residents of fully immunized nursing facilities are now permitted close, in-person visits with family members and friends who are not caregivers. designated essentials, as long as appropriate safeguards are in place. “Safe visitation by family and friends is critical to the mental health and well-being of residents of long-term care facilities,” said Victoria Ford, HHS policy and regulatory officer. “We are delighted that these new rules allow residents to enjoy in-person visits with a wider circle of loved ones.” For nursing facilities, these updated visitation rules provide providers with additional flexibilities in accordance with new federal guidelines. While continuing to follow all protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including the wearing of face masks, Texas nursing facilities can now allow:
- close/personal contact during any visit for fully immunized residents.
- outdoor visits to all facilities, even when the facility is experiencing an outbreak.
- up to two essential caregivers at the same time to visit a resident with any COVID-19 status.
- all visits without time limit, while respecting infection prevention and control measures.
- end-of-life visits for all residents, regardless of their COVID-19 status in all nursing facilities, with an expanded definition of end-of-life visits that now includes all residents receiving palliative care services; end-of-life or end-of-life residents, with or without palliative care services; and residents whose prognosis does not indicate recovery.
Nursing facilities no longer need:
- seek blanket visitation approval from HHSC.
- monitor visits or escort visitors to and from the visit area.
- limit indoor visits to areas with a barrier or plexiglass gazebo.
- requiring documentation of a negative COVID-19 test result for essential caregivers or visitors to salon services.
In addition to nursing care facilities, HHSC has expanded permitted visits to assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, and home and community service providers. The new rules also remove certain administrative requirements for vendors, such as rules requiring staff to monitor certain visits and escort visitors to and from a visitation area.
Copyright 2021 KBTX. All rights reserved.