The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has adopted the 2012 edition of NFPA 101: Life Safety Code®. The final rule adopting the 2012 edition will be published in the Federal Register on May 4 but is currently available on the Federal Register's public inspection site. The document includes about 100 pages of background material, but ASHE has extracted the final rule from the larger document to more easily show the relevant Conditions of Participation for hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and other health care facilities.
The change is effective July 5 and comes after years of CMS considering the change to the more updated standard. In its rule, CMS adopts the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code and the 2012 edition of NFPA: Health Care Facilities Code—but makes several changes to the codes. For example, the chapters of NFPA 99 on the following topics are not included in the adoption: information technology (Chapter 7), plumbing (Chapter 8), emergency management (Chapter 12), and security (Chapter 13). CMS had previously proposed its own emergency preparedness rules separate from NFPA 99 requirements.
The rule will also make several changes for hospitals, including:
ASHE had encouraged CMS to adopt the 2012 edition, and applauds CMS for taking this step toward more current codes. The 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code includes several advantages compared to the 2000 edition, which is currently required by CMS. The 2012 edition reduces conflicts with other codes, including the International Building Code, meaning hospitals will use fewer resources trying to comply with conflicting codes. The 2012 edition also reflects the needs of modern health care facilities, such as larger critical care patient rooms.