New York Nursing Home Certification & OBRA Regulations

Nursing homes are regulated by the federal government under the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA).  OBRA sets forth standards of care and rights for nursing homes and residents living in nursing care facilities.

OBRA changes resulted in tremendous benefits to nursing facility residents through requirements aimed at protecting resident rights, and ensuring that residents receive ongoing plans for quality of care and treatment to help them function at the highest level based upon their condition.  OBRA also standardized nursing facility certification, including required annual inspections.

Implementation of OBRA Regulations – The Role of the States

OBRA specifies that the states are ultimately responsible for nursing home licensure.  It is therefore up to the states to ensure that nursing homes comply with state requirements.

While OBRA is a federal act, it provides for state involvement in ensuring compliance with the required standards through Medicare and Medicaid provisions.  Because the states will have a vested interest in ensuring that facilities receive all federal financial assistance possible for nursing home residents in their respective states, they cooperate in ensuring that inspections and other matters required of them are properly carried out.

Medicaid and Medicare matters are administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Servces (CMS), which is a division of the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS).

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