Nursing homes may not be established, operated, or maintained in South Carolina without first obtaining a state license from DHEC in a manner provided by Article 3, Chapter 7, Title 44 of the South Carolina Code of Laws and DHEC regulations. Licensed nursing homes may volunteer to participate in the federal Medicare and Medicare programs, and DHEC is charged with enforcing the federal standards on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS). DHEC ensures nursing homes in South Carolina comply with state licensing and federal health and safety standards.
Regulations and Code of Laws
- Regulation 61-17, Standards for Licensing Nursing Homes
- Regulation 61-25, Retail Food Establishments
- Bill of Rights for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities
- Resident's Bill of Rights Poster
- Omnibus Adult Protection Act
CMS Regulations & Guidance
The Long Term Care Program surveys Nursing Facilities and Skilled Nursing Facilities (NF/SNF) for compliance with Medicare/Medicaid regulations.
- CMS State Operations Manual (SOM)
- Appendix I - Guidelines for Completion of Fire Safety Reports, Interpretive Guidelines for Life Safety Code Surveys (pdf)
- Appendix P - Survey Protocol for Long-Term Care Facilities (42 CFR 483 Subpart B) (pdf)
- Appendix PP - Guidance to Surveyors for Long Term Care Facilities (pdf)
- Appendix Q - Guidelines for Determining Immediate and Serious Threat to Patient Health and Safety (pdf)
- Medicare and Medicaid Certified Nursing Home Comparison - The primary purpose of this tool is to provide detailed information about the performance of every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home in the country.
Nurse Aide Abuse Registry Program
The Nurse Aide Abuse Registry Program is responsible for investigating all allegations of CNA abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of resident property. See the Nurse Aide Registry.
The Complaint Program investigates complaints filed against health care facilities. If you would like to register a complaint against a Nursing Home, or any other health facility, please click here.
- Timeframes for Reporting (Long Term Care Facilities)
- Conducting a Thorough Investigation (pdf)
- Initial Report (pdf)
- Five-Day Follow-up Report (pdf)
Minimum Data Set (MDS) & Outcome Assessment Information Set (OASIS)
Certified nursing homes are required to conduct a comprehensive, accurate, standardized and reproducible assessment of each resident’s functional capacity using the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI). Facilities are required to examine their residents no less frequently than once every three months.
Read the Nursing Home RAI User's Manual
Civil Money Penalty Funds (CMP) Grant
A portion of CMPs collected from nursing homes are returned to the states in which CMPs are imposed. State CMP funds may be reinvested to support activities that benefit nursing home residents and that protect or improve their quality of care or quality of life. Requests to use CMP funds may be made by various organizations and entities. Applications may be submitted by certified nursing homes, academic or research institutions, state, local or tribal governments, profit or not-for-profit, or other types of organizations.