CMS Adopts 2012 Life Safety Code—The day has finally arrived!

Today, Tuesday May 3, 2016, CMS announced the full adoption of the provisions of the 2012 edition of NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, effective July 5, 2016. (See today’s CMS press release here.)

CMS has been incrementally adopting various specific aspects of the 2012 Life Safety Code through the categorical waiver process, which allowed healthcare facilities to take advantage of improved technologies that were not in existence at the time of the previously adopted edition of the Life Safety Code (2000).

Ostensibly, the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code provides a great deal more flexibility for organizations in determining how best to manage their facilities from a fire and life safety standpoint. But with that flexibility come some requirements (e.g., regular door and rated barrier inspections, the use of performance data to demonstrate the effectiveness of life safety compliance efforts) that point towards a more systematic approach to compliance than has previously been the case.

There will no doubt be a lot of shifting by the various agencies providing compliance oversight (TJC, DNV, HFAP) in preparing to administer the adoption of the 2012 Code (4 years isn’t really that long a period when it comes to preparing for a change—particularly when it has not been certain when that change would occur). Accreditation standards will need to be updated, survey forms revised, etc. so it reasonably can be expected that there is going to be a lot of “traffic” in the wake of this change.

We at The Greeley Company are prepared to assist you in your current and future preparations for the survey of the physical environment, which continues to be a focal point of the regulatory survey process.

If you should have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at 888-749-3054 or by submitting an inquiry here.

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