cms religious nonmedical health care definition

A Religious Nonmedical Health Care Institution (RNHCI) is a tax-exempted religious organizations that provides nonmedical nursing items and services to beneficiaries who choose to rely solely upon a religious method of healing, and for whom the acceptance of medical services would be inconsistent with their religious beliefs.

RNHCIs furnish nonmedical items and services exclusively through nonmedical nursing personnel who are experienced in caring for the physical needs of nonmedical patients (e.g., assistance with activities of daily living; assistance in moving, positioning, and ambulation; nutritional needs; and comfort and support measures). They also furnish nonmedical items and services to inpatients on a 24-hour basis. They do not furnish patients, on the basis of religious beliefs, through its personnel or otherwise, medical items and services (including any medical screening, examination, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, or the administration of drugs).

accrediting organization(s)

The Joint Commission Logo

part 403 — special programs and projects, Page: 163 (64021)

§403.742 [Amended]

  • 2. Amend § 403.742 by:
    • a. Removing paragraphs (a)(1), (4), and (5).
    • b. Redesignating paragraphs (a)(2) and (3) as paragraphs (a)(1) and (2), respectively.
    • c. Redesignating paragraphs (a)(6) through (8) as paragraphs (a)(3) through (5), respectively.
  • 3. Add § 403.748 to read as follows:

§403.748 Condition of Participation: Emergency Preparedness

The Religious Nonmedical Health Care Institution (RNHCI) must comply with all applicable Federal, State, and local emergency preparedness requirements. The RNHCI must establish and maintain an emergency preparedness program that meets the requirements of this section. The emergency preparedness program must include, but not be limited to, the following elements:


(a) The RNHCI must develop and maintain an emergency preparedness plan that must be reviewed, and updated at least annually. The plan must do all of the following:

  • (1) Be based on and include a documented, facility-based and community-based risk assessment, utilizing an all-hazards approach.
  • (2) Include strategies for addressing emergency events identified by the risk assessment.
  • (3) Address patient population, including, but not limited to, persons at-risk; the type of services the RNHCI has the ability to provide in an emergency; and continuity of operations, including delegations of authority and succession plans.
  • (4) Include a process for cooperation and collaboration with local, tribal, regional, State, and Federal emergency preparedness officials’ efforts to maintain an integrated response during a disaster or emergency situation, including documentation of the RNHCI's efforts to contact such officials and, when applicable, its participation in collaborative and cooperative planning efforts.