On August 13, 2008, CMS published a final rule requiring all nursing facilities to be equipped with a supervised automatic sprinkler system by August 13, 2013. On May 12, 2014, CMS published a final rule (CMS-3267-F) which allows CMS to grant an extension of the sprinkler due date for a time period not to exceed two years from August 13, 2013 if the following criteria are met: 1) the facility is in the process of replacing its current building or undergoing major modifications in all unsprinklered living areas; 2) the facility demonstrates that it has made the necessary financial commitments to complete the building replacement or modifications; 3) the facility has submitted construction or modification plans to the State and local authorities that are necessary for approval of the replacement building or modification prior to applying for the deadline extension; and 4) the facility agrees to complete interim steps, as determined by CMS, to improve fire safety of the building while construction is completed. CMS may also grant an additional (one time only) 1 year extension after the initial approval of the 2 year extension date in the event of extenuating circumstances that prevent timely completion of the project. CMS notes that a second extension request would require clear documentation of the barriers arising outside the control of the nursing facility that prevented completion of the project within the time period of the initial 2 year extension. Further CMS guidance regarding extension of the automatic sprinkler due date can be accessed here.
If you have questions regarding the application for extension of the due date regarding the installation of automatic sprinklers, please do not hesitate to contact Tanya Harris to discuss further.