Licensing of Nursing Facilities (216-RICR-40-10-1)


216-RICR-40-10-1 ACTIVE RULE EMERGENCY RULE

Title 216 Department of Health
Chapter 40 Professional Licensing and Facility Regulation
Subchapter 10 Facilities Regulation
Part 1 Licensing of Nursing Facilities (216-RICR-40-10-1)
Type of Filing Amendment
Regulation Status Active
Effective 01/12/2021 to 03/22/2021

Regulation Authority :

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-17-10
R.I. Gen. Laws § Executive Order 20-70

Purpose and Reason :

Establishes routine testing for COVID-19 of all nursing home residents and personnel which includes employees, as well as volunteers, students, trainees or any individual whether paid or unpaid directly employed by or under contract with the nursing home on a part time or full-time basis. By testing all personnel routinely, the transmission of COVID-19 in nursing facilities can be reduced. 

Editorial Notes :

The agency initially requested an adjustment to the effective dates of this amendment based on the emergency amendment filed on 5/26/2020. They then requested an extension to the effective dates for this emergency amendment, which was granted in accordance with Executive Order 20-111 which permits extensions for sixty (60) days. As a result, the effective dates have been revised and the regulation will now become ineffective on March 22, 2021.

Brief statement of Reason for Finding Imminent Peril :

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is filing this emergency amendment to the Licensure of Nursing Facility regulations (216-RICR-40-10-1) in order to strengthen standards of care in Rhode Island nursing homes during the pendency of the COVID-19 pandemic. Section 1.13.7 of the Licensing of Nursing Facilities (216-RICR-40-10-1) Regulation is being amended on an emergency basis to require asymptomatic residents to be tested for COVID-19 at least once every seven (7) days. The purpose of this regulation is to more aggressively control the spread of COVID-19 in Rhode Island’s nursing facilities. In Rhode Island, 100 percent of nursing facilities have experienced COVID-19 infections. According to recently published Kaiser Family Foundation data, of all states, Rhode Island (78%) and New Hampshire (81%) have the highest percentage of long-term care deaths as a share of total state COVID deaths. COVID-19’s impact on this vulnerable nursing home population is dramatic and disproportionate to the general population. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a profoundly disruptive effect on the lives of Rhode Island’s nursing home residents and their families, particularly as winter 2020 continues. RIDOH’s goal is to mitigate COVID’s effects on this imminently imperiled population by increasing testing frequency among residents in nursing facilities. These emergency amendments are also intended to improve nursing home safety in Rhode Island nursing facilities and mitigate the imminent peril COVID-19 represents to this vulnerable population during this challenging time.   1. Kaiser Family Foundation, State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus, November 2020. Available online at: https://www.kff.org/health-costs/issue-brief/state-data-and-policy-actions-to-address-coronavirus/ Accessed November 20, 2020.