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Title 38Chapter IPart 51Subpart D → §51.150

Title 38: Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief
Subpart D—Standards

§51.150   Physician services.

A physician must personally approve in writing a recommendation that an individual be admitted to a facility. Each resident must remain under the care of a physician.

(a) Physician supervision. The facility management must ensure that—

(1) The medical care of each resident is supervised by a primary care physician;

(2) Each resident's medical record lists the name of the resident's primary physician, and

(3) Another physician supervises the medical care of residents when their primary physician is unavailable.

(b) Physician visits. The physician must—

(1) Review the resident's total program of care, including medications and treatments, at each visit required by paragraph (c) of this section;

(2) Write, sign, and date progress notes at each visit; and

(3) Sign and date all orders.

(c) Frequency of physician visits. (1) The resident must be seen by the primary physician at least once every 30 days for the first 90 days after admission, and at least once every 60 days thereafter, or more frequently based on the condition of the resident.

(2) A physician visit is considered timely if it occurs not later than 10 days after the date the visit was required.

(3) Except as provided in paragraphs (c)(4) of this section, all required physician visits must be made by the physician personally.

(4) At the option of the physician, required visits in the facility after the initial visit may alternate between personal visits by the physician and visits by a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section.

(d) Availability of physicians for emergency care. The facility management must provide or arrange for the provision of physician services 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, in case of an emergency.

(e) Physician delegation of tasks. (1) Except as specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, a primary physician may delegate tasks to:

(i) a certified physician assistant or a certified nurse practitioner, or

(ii) a clinical nurse specialist who—

(A) Is acting within the scope of practice as defined by State law; and

(B) Is under the supervision of the physician.

Note to paragraph (e): An individual with experience in long term care is preferred.

(2) The primary physician may not delegate a task when the regulations specify that the primary physician must perform it personally, or when the delegation is prohibited under State law or by the facility's own policies.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101, 501, 1710, 1741-1743)

(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control number 2900-0160)

[65 FR 968, Jan. 6, 2000, as amended at 74 FR 19434, Apr. 29, 2009]

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