CMS Issues Revised Guidance for Feeding Tube Use in Nursing Homes

November 9, 2012 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued training to state surveyors to clarify changes to its "Guidance to Surveyors for Long Term Care Facilities" regarding the use of feeding tubes in nursing homes. The revised guidance combines two F-tags (F-321 and F-322) into one tag (F-322) and comprises two key elements: first, that residents are not fed through nasogastric tubes unless a comprehensive assessment indicates that tube feeding is unavoidable, and second, that residents who are fed by tubes receive services to prevent a range of possible complications. Those complications include aspiration pneumonia, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, metabolic abnormalities, and nasal-pharyngeal ulcers.

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