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Hospitals should consider CoP carefully before deciding on DNR policy

Hospitals considering a universal policy of not resuscitating COVID-19 patients with heart or breathing failures should take steps to avoid violating patients’ rights under Medicare’s Conditions of Participation (CoP), say two former executives with The Joint Commission (TJC).

Facilities will need to involve administrators, providers, clergy, attorneys, and members of the hospital’s ethics committee, says Jennifer Cowel, RN, MHSA, a former nursing surveyor and TJC executive and now CEO of Patton Healthcare Consulting. Hospitals will also need to seek an emergency waiver from CMS.

In addition, hospitals and clinicians should remember what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; decisions about critically ill patients stranded by floods turned into a legal nightmare, says Kurt Patton, MS, RPh, a former director of accredi­tation services for TJC and founder of Patton Healthcare Consulting.

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