Department of Health

PA Department of Health Regulations for Nursing Facilities

Nursing facilities in Pennsylvania are licensed by the Department of Health, Division of Nursing Care Facilities (DNCF). The DNCF conducts surveys of nursing facilities to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations. These include licensure and certification surveys, follow-up surveys and complaint investigations. The survey process, protocols and guidance are contained in the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), State Operations Manual. The DNCF provides resources and guidance to nursing facilities through its website, the Message Board and the issuance of Provider Bulletins. The Department also operates and maintains the federally mandated Nurse Aide Registry.


DOH Posts Guidance for Calculating Direct Nursing Care Hours

The Department of Health (DOH) posted guidance on the DOH Message Board regarding the calculation of hours of direct nursing care provided for during each 24 hour period. The guidance includes a table that nursing facilities will be requested to complete by DOH surveyors. The table is designed to document the actual number of hours each nursing staff worked for the identified period.

The guidance also provides examples of staff that should NOT be included in the calculation and hours that MAY be included. The guidance reiterates that a nursing facility’s daily number of hours of care per resident/day (PPD) must be at least 2.7 to meet §211.12(i)(relating to nursing services), if this PPD is not met a citation will be issued. Additionally, nursing facilities are reminded that the direct care hours must be adequate to meet the needs of the residents being served in the facility, this may necessitate staffing that exceeds the minimum requirement of 2.7 PPD.

A copy of the guidance can be found here.

If you have questions regarding the guidance, please contact Dawn Murr-Davidson at or Gail Weidman at


State Operations Manual

Dementia Care Survey Tools

Dementia Care Survey Tools

In response to feedback from stakeholders and partners of the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, CMS shared the revised survey materials that were developed for the 2014 Focused Dementia Care Survey Pilot and 2015 expansion effort. The intent is that facilities would use these tools to assess their own practices in providing resident care.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Care Facility Carbon Monoxide Alarms Standards Act – Act 48 of 2016

Effective September 21, 2016, this Act provides standards for carbon monoxide alarms in care facilities.

May 2017
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