CHA News Article

CMS Proposes Rule Updating Life Safety Codes for Health Care Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed adopting the 2012 editions of the Life Safety Code (LSC) and Health Care Facilities Code (HCFC). Currently, CMS applies standards in the 2000 editions of these codes. CMS also proposes making key changes. The proposed updates to HCFC, which is applicable to hospitals, long-term care facilities, critical access hospitals, and hospice inpatient facilities, would allow facilities to increase suite sizes; require all high-rise buildings over 75’ to be fully sprinklered within 12 years; allow controlled access doors to prevent wandering patients; address issues of alcohol-based hand rub dispensers in corridors and patient rooms; require a fire watch or building evacuation if a sprinkler system is out of service for more than four hours; and require smoke control in anesthetizing locations. The proposed rule also would update the LSC for ambulatory surgical centers and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

CHA is reviewing the proposed rule and will provide members with a summary in the coming weeks. In addition, CHA, in consultation with California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development fire/life safety staff, will develop comments on any noted conflicts between the 2013 California Building Standards Code and 2012 editions of the LSC and HCFC. Comments on the proposed rule, which is attached, are due June 16 at 2 p.m. (PT).