Common F-Tag and K-Tag Citations

Long-term care professionals know how important it is to comply with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) regulations and avoid K-Tag and F-Tag citations. If your facility receives Medicare and Medicaid funding, you must correct any deficiencies or risk losing certification and funding.

Keep in mind, K and F-Tags are publicly reported, affecting your facility’s reputation and resident acquisition. Prepare for inspections by understanding compliance expectations and which citations are most common.

Know What They’re Looking For

Some of the most frequently cited K-Tag and F-Tags include:

K062—Sprinkler System Maintenance 

Each facility is required to install, maintain, and document their sprinkler system in accordance with NFPA 13. The system and inspection documents are reviewed by ACHA during the facilities CMS survey.

K147—Electrical Wiring

Each facility is required to have permanent and portable electrical equipment installed in accordance with applicable building code. It is also required to operate and inspect electrical equipment in accordance with NFPA 70 & 70E.

K029—Hazardous Areas Separations

Each facility is required to have designated areas that store hazardous substances in accordance with applicable building codes and NFPA 101.

 K018—Door Construction

Healthcare facilities are required to have doors that will close, latch, and seal that are smoke or fire rated. This is to protect residents that cannot evacuate due to physical limitations.

K038—Exit Accessibility

Facilities are required to maintain a clear and unobstructed path to the exit. Healthcare facilities use various devices and equipment daily to care for patients and these items sometimes get parked in hallways in violation of K038.

F-441—Infection Control, Prevent Spread, Linens

Facilities are required to investigate, control, and prevent infections through isolation procedures, appropriate linen transportation, hygiene, etc. Records of incidents and corrective actions must be maintained.

F-323—Free of Accident Hazards/Supervision/Devices

Healthcare facilities are required to keep resident environments free of accident hazards as much as possible and provide adequate supervision and assistance devices. Evaluate and analyze hazards to eliminate all avoidable accidents.

F-309—Provide Care/Services for Highest Well Being

Facilities must provide care and services to residents so they attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial wellbeing. This includes but is not limited to care related to end-of-life, diabetes, renal disease, fractures, congestive heart failure, skin ulcers, pain, or fecal impaction.

F-371—Food Procurement, Store/Prepare/Serve—Sanitary

The intention of this regulation is to prevent an outbreak of food-borne illnesses by obtaining food from approved sources and following best practices for sanitary food handling. Avoid cross contamination during food preparation and always store food at proper temperatures.

F-279—Develop Comprehensive Care Plans

Long-term care facilities must develop a comprehensive care plan for each resident that includes objectives and timetables and address a resident’s medical, nursing, and mental needs. Comprehensive care plans are reviewed in the survey process and are considered road maps for resident care.

Prepare with a Pre-Survey

Long-term care facilities could benefit from creating a “pre-survey” team to conduct a very thorough check of the facility prior to the inspection. This exercise may help to identify potential issues and provide a chance to correct them before your survey.

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