In an effort to ease training and staffing hurdles while maintaining high standards, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a new and controversial move. As of October 1, the requirements for being considered a qualified long-term care facility director of food and nutrition services will change.
Would-be dining directors will need to have had two or more years of experience in the position come Saturday. Moreover, according to the final rule in the Federal Register, those who don’t have it will need to complete “a minimum course of study in food safety.”
While these changes were previously proposed in 2019, the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care alleged the changes would endanger residents’ health by lowering the bar.
“Two years of experience as a director of food and nutrition services does not mean a person is adequately equipped for this position,” said the consumer advocacy group. “The proposed alternative qualification, a ‘course of study,’ is extremely vague.”
Others disagree, stating that depending on work and education experience, the coursework to become a CDM can take a year or more to complete. These new regulations will also open the door to individuals who previously could ill-afford it, and simultaneously help organizations fill positions, without sacrificing standards.
What is SpecialtyRx’s view?
Joe Kubulak, chief operating officer at Specialty Rx, welcomed this move with caution. “At SpecialtyRx, we applaud change that opens jobs to those that may have once found it inaccessible. These are essential positions, and we trust that authorities will uphold the highest measures. We will closely follow updates.”