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“CMS Cracks Down on Nursing Home Social Media Abuse,” Law360


“CMS Cracks Down on Nursing Home Social Media Abuse,” Law360

August 24, 2016
Caroline J. Berdzik

‘The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ‘has cited individual facilities for deficiencies related to privacy and is seeking to more explicitly address the issue as it writes new definitions of ‘abuse,’ ‘neglect,’ ‘exploitation’ and ‘sexual abuse’ in updated rules governing the homes,’” writes Goldberg Segalla partner Caroline Berdzik, chair of the firm’s Health Care Practice Group. “As expected, state surveyors were alerted via a memo CMS sent to state health departments that the agency will now be focusing on long-term care facilities’ social media policies and procedures for staff as part of the survey process.”

In this article, Caroline reviews the new CMS guidelines on the use of social media and the photographing or recording of a nursing home resident without the resident’s consent.

She advises facilities to implement policies, enforcement, and training to prevent employees from misusing social media and violating residents’ rights. Caroline provides a step-by-step guide as to how nursing homes should ensure compliance with the new CMS guidelines.

“Employees and their employers would be well-served to remember that taking photos of residents in certain situations may be committing elder abuse with potential criminal and civil consequences — and with their actions triggering obligations under the Elder Justice Abuse Act,” she writes.

Read the full article here: