Long-Term Care Medicaid visitation changes

Long-term care visitation
Long-term care visitation(KFYR)
Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 11:47 AM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have doubled the number of days Medicaid residents in skilled nursing homes can visit their families.

Days before the holiday season, residents can now live with their families for 48 days this year. North Dakota, like many other states, requested the expansion after getting calls from families.

Visitation in long-term care has been a regular point of contention as we get closer to the holidays.

Families want to see their loved ones, but the facilities and the federal organizations that oversee them are trying to prevent the spread. For the remainder of 2020, residents can stay with their families for an additional 24 days.

The reason there’s a cap in the first place is so residents can save their spots in the facilities and for the organizations to maintain federal funding.

The Department of Human Services says those interested should talk to their loved one and discuss the pros and cons. Adding it’s all about giving people choices.

“This isn’t about the flexibility that all residents would take up or should take up. But it really is about giving people the option about whether or not they want to bring their loved one home,” said ND Medicaid Director Caprice Knapp.

For those who leave the nursing home, the CMS asks you limit contact with people and shared items, be cautions with food serving practices, and be on the lookout for COVID-19 symptoms.

DHS is warning residents may have to quarantine for up to 14 days upon returning to their skilled nursing facility, even if a rapid test says they are negative earlier.

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