'Visitation is now allowed for all residents'

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced changes to nursing home visitation policy

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced changes to nursing home visitation policy stating that “Visitation is now allowed for all residents at all times.”

Click here to download a PDF of the memo or access the memo on the CMS website. Below is an excerpt:


CMS: Facilities must allow indoor visitation at all times and for all residents as permitted under the regulations. While previously acceptable during the PHE [Public Health Emergency], facilities can no longer limit the frequency and length of visits for residents, the number of visitors, or require advance scheduling of visits.


Although there is no limit on the number of visitors that a resident can have at one time, visits should be conducted in a manner that adheres to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and does not increase risk to other residents. Facilities should ensure that physical distancing can still be maintained during peak times of visitation (e.g., lunch time, after business hours, etc.). Also, facilities should avoid large gatherings (e.g., parties, events) where large numbers of visitors are in the same space at the same time and physical distancing cannot be maintained. During indoor visitation, facilities should limit visitor movement in the facility. For example, visitors should not walk around different halls of the facility. Rather, they should go directly to the resident’s room or designated visitation area. Facilities may contact their local health authorities for guidance or direction on how to structure their visitation to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.



Advocacy tip: Download and/or print the memo and keep a copy with you to support your advocacy with individual nursing homes. If you're facing a roadblock to open visitation, just show the memo.