Food For Thought

by Abigail Solazzo

#CDMsMatter – Our members were recently informed of proposed changes to the CMS regulations. The below information provides relevant and important information for you and your members as well as suggestions on how CDMs can help bring additional awareness to the importance of their roles and the industry. Please continue to look for more information on this topic in the coming months.

On July 16, 2019, CMS posted a document of PROPOSED changes to the Long-Term Care CoP’s Conditions of Participation/Medicare and Medicaid Programs Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities.

One of the items CMS is proposing changes to is the education requirement for Director of Food and Nutrition Services. Their rationale is that stakeholders are …” concerned about a workforce shortage of certified dietary managers and the financial costs imposed on existing experienced staff to obtain specialized training".

CMS acknowledges that set standards for the person leading the department is important and are putting forth suggestions for how to better reduce the burden by revising the standards to increase flexibility, the specifics being that a minimum standard be set.

It is important for everyone to understand that the current rules are still in effect and this is only a proposal that is open for comments. Once the comment period is over, CMS will review and thoroughly vet them before any decisions and rule changes will be made. This is a common political process.

Please know that ANFP is actively reviewing this proposal and will be submitting comments in support of the current requirements and the CDM, CFPP credential. In our comments we will be sharing data to address their financial concerns. This comes from both our LTC Benchmarking Program and the data we analyze from the CMS Database that ANFP leases, and from which we develop dashboards to help navigate this large database. Additionally, we will address the CDM, CFPP Scope of Practice, which demonstrates the ability of the CDM, CFPP to participate in the IDT when the RDN is not available. We feel confident that our comments will resonate with CMS, much like our comments submitted during the original Rules comment period.

What can you do as a CDM, CFPP or industry stakeholder?

  • Comment on the regulations page HERE  
  • POST a story of how your credentials have improved residents’ lives or how your community values your CDM.
  • Share how hard you work to stay up to date attending Continuing Education trainings to be able to contribute more to your communities and be current with the latest in food safety.
  • The importance of being a healthcare professional that can participate in the Care planning team working in tandem with your Dietitian and Nursing staff to support the residents personalized care goals
  • Having the knowledge base to serve quality food that is safe and protect your communities from a food borne illness event.
  • Share the pride you have in being Certified and how it a healthcare career that improves lives through good food management and safety!
  • Unite as a community by adding at the end of your comments- hashtag #CDMsMatter