[author: Susan J. Freed]
CMS recently issued guidance to state surveyors to assist them in assessing a skilled nursing facility's compliance with end of life care planning requirements. The guidance, which includes training materials, can be accessed here. A SNF can be found in violation of Medicare Conditions of Participation at an immediate jeopardy level if the SNF fails to recognize a resident is approaching end of life and continues to implement aggressive medical interventions against the resident's wishes which result in severe physical discomfort or psychosocial distress. The guidance is effective for surveys performed on or after November 30, 2012.