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Title: Section 415.39 - Specialized programs for residents requiring behavioral interventions

Effective Date


415.39 Specialized programs for residents requiring behavioral interventions.

(a) General.

(1) Specialized programs for residents requiring behavioral interventions ("the program") shall mean a discrete unit with a planned combination of services with staffing, equipment and physical facilities designed to serve individuals whose severe behavior cannot be managed in a less restrictive setting. The program shall provide goal-directed, comprehensive and interdisciplinary services directed at attaining or maintaining the individual at the highest practicable level of physical, affective, behavioral and cognitive functioning.

(2) The program shall serve residents who are a danger to self or others and who display violent or aggressive behaviors which are typically exhibited as physical or verbal aggression such as clear threats of violence. This behavior may be unpredictable, recurrent for no apparent reason, and typically exhibited as assaultive, combative, disruptive or socially inappropriate behavior such as sexual molestation or fire setting.

(3) The program shall be located in a nursing unit which is specifically designated for this purpose and physically separate from other facility residents. The unit shall be designed in accordance with the provisions as set forth in Subpart 713-2 of this Title.

(4) The facility shall have a written agreement with an inpatient psychiatric facility licensed under the Mental Hygiene Law to provide for inpatient admissions and consultative services as needed.

(5) In addition to the implementation of the quality assessment and assurance plan for this program as required by section 415.27 of this Part, the facility shall participate with the commissioner or his or her designee in a review of the program and resident outcomes. The factors to be reviewed shall include but not be limited to a review of admissions, the care and services provided, continued stays, and discharge planning. The facility shall furnish records, reports and data in a format as requested by the commissioner or his or her designee and shall make available for participation in the review, as necessary, members of the interdisciplinary resident care team.

(b) Admission.

(1) The facility shall develop written admission criteria which are applied to each prospective resident. As a minimum, for residents admitted to the program, there shall be documented evidence in the resident's medical record that:

(i) the resident's behavior is dangerous to him or herself or to others;

(ii) the resident's behavior has been assessed according to severity and intensity;

(iii) within 30 days prior to the date of application to the program, the resident has displayed:

(a) verbal aggression which constitutes a clear threat of violence towards others or self; or

(b) physical aggression which is assaultive or combative and causes or is likely to cause harm to others or self; or

(c) persistently regressive or socially inappropriate behavior which causes actual harm.

(iv) various alternative interventions have been tried and found to be unsuccessful;

(v) the resident cannot be managed in a less restrictive setting; and

(vi) the prospective resident has the ability to benefit from such a program.

(2) Prior to admission, the facility shall fully inform the resident and the resident's designated representative both orally and in writing about the program plan and the policies and procedures governing resident care in this unit. Such policies and procedures shall at a minimum include a statement that the resident's right to leave or be discharged from the program shall be consistent with the rights of other residents in the facility.

(c) Assessment and Care Planning.

(1) The interdisciplinary team shall have determined preliminary approaches and interventions to the severe behavior and recorded them in the resident care plan prior to admission to the unit.

(2) Each resident's care plan shall include care and services which are therapeutically beneficial for the resident and selected by the resident when able and as appropriate. The care plan shall be prepared by the interdisciplinary team, as described in section 415.11 of this Part, which shall include psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker participation as appropriate to the needs of the resident.

(3) Based on the resident's response to therapeutic interventions, the care plan including the discharge plan shall be reviewed and modified, as needed, but at least once a month.

(d) Discharge.

(1) A proposed discharge plan shall be developed within 30 days of admission for each resident as part of the overall care plan and shall include input from all professionals caring for the resident, the resident and his or her family, as appropriate, and any outside agency or resource that will be involved with the resident following discharge. (2) When the interdisciplinary team determines that discharge of a resident to another facility or community-based program is appropriate, a discharge plan shall be implemented which is designed to assist and support the resident, family and caregiver in the transition to the new setting. Program staff shall be available post-discharge to act as a continuing resource for the resident, family or caregiver.

(3) The resident shall be discharged to a less restrictive setting when he or she no longer meets the admission criteria for this program as stated in subdivision (b) of this section.

(4) A resident discharged to an acute care facility shall be accompanied by a member of the program's direct care staff during transfer. He or she shall be given priority readmission status to the program as his or her condition may warrant.

(5) There shall be a written transfer agreement with any nursing home of origin which allows for priority readmission to such transferring facility when a resident is capable of a safe discharge.

(e) Resident services and staffing requirements.

(1) The program shall consist of a variety of medical, behavioral, counseling, recreational, exercise, and other services to help the resident control or redirect his or her behavior through interventions carried out in a therapeutic environment provided on-site.

(2) There shall be dedicated staffing in sufficient numbers to provide for the direct services in the unit and to allow for small group activities and for one-on-one care.

(3) The unit shall be managed by a program coordinator who is a licensed or certified health care professional with previous formal education, training and experience in the administration of a program concerned with the care and management of individuals with severe behavioral problems. The program coordinator shall be responsible for the operation and oversight of the program. Other responsibilities of the program coordinator shall include:

(i) the planning for and coordination of direct care and services;

(ii) developing and implementing inservice and continuing education programs, in collaboration with the interdisciplinary team, for all staff in contact with or working with these residents;

(iii) participation in the facility's decisions regarding resident care and services that affect the operation of the unit; and

(iv) ensuring the development and implementation of a program plan and policies and procedures specific to this program.

(4) A physician who has specialized training and experience in the care of individuals with severe behavioral or neuropsychiatric conditions shall be responsible for the medical direction and medical oversight of this program and shall assist with the development and evaluation of policies and procedures governing the provision of medical services in this unit.

(5) A qualified specialist in psychiatry who has clinical experience in behavioral medicine and experience working with individuals who are neurologically impaired shall be available on staff or a consulting basis to the residents and to the program.

(6) A clinical psychologist with at least one year of training in neuropsychology shall be available on staff or a consulting basis to the residents and to the program.

(7) A social worker with experience associated with severe behavioral conditions shall be available either on staff or a consulting basis to work with the residents, staff and family as needed.

(8) Other than the program coordinator, there shall be at least one registered professional nurse deployed on each shift in this unit who has training and experience in caring for individuals with severe behaviors.

(9) A full-time therapeutic recreation specialist shall be responsible for the therapeutic recreation program.

(10) The facility shall ensure that all staff assigned to the direct care of the residents have pertinent experience or have received training in the care and management of individuals with severe behaviors.

(11) The facility shall ensure that educational programs are conducted for staff not providing direct care but who come in contact with these residents on a regular basis such as housekeeping and dietary aides. The programs shall familiarize staff with the program and the residents.


VOLUME C (Title 10)