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February 18, 2014

Licensing of Long Term Care Facilities regarding minimum standards for Dementia Special Care Units (“DSCU”)


On February 12, 2014, the Department of Public Health (“Department”) adopted regulations amending 105 CMR 150.000:

Minimum Standards for Dementia Special Care Units

Chapter 142 of the Acts of 2012 mandated that the Department promulgate regulations establishing minimum standards for Dementia Special Care Units. The specific standards set forth in the regulations are:

  1. Dementia-specific training for staffing of nursing homes and for nursing homes with DSCUs;
  2. Activity programs in DSCUs; and
  3. Physical plant guidelines for DSCUs.

The Department’s purpose in including these specific requirements is to ensure that residents with dementia receive appropriately tailored care. Specific training is required for staff working in such units. That training will include at least eight hours of initial training and four additional hours annually. The rules also require that the facilities have at least one therapeutic activities director. These regulations create specific requirements for dementia care staff training in all nursing home units and activities programs, disclosures, and physical plant design in DSCUs.

For more information see the Department of Public Health’s website.

Andrew Levine is a Boston attorney providing regulatory guidance, business and corporate legal services, as well as strategic advice, to healthcare clients.

About the Author

Andrew Levine

Andrew Levine is the senior partner overseeing the firm’s Health Law Regulatory practice. He provides regulatory guidance, business and corporate legal services, as well as strategic advice to healthcare clients. You can find him on LinkedIn.


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