Can I require central storage of medications in my RCFE?

Medications in a RCFE must be secured at all times. They can either be stored behind lock and key in the resident’s room (when authorized) or in central storage under the control of authorized staff members.

Providers often ask if they can require a resident’s medications to be centrally stored. The answer is, yes. Regulation 87465 states in part:

Medications shall be centrally stored under the following circumstances:

“(A) The preservation of medicines requires refrigeration, if the resident has no private refrigerator.

(B) Any medication is determined by the physician to be hazardous if kept in the personal possession of the person for whom it was prescribed.

(C) Because of potential dangers related to the medication itself, or due to physical arrangements in the facility and the condition or the habits of other persons in the facility, the medications are determined by either a physician, the administrator, or Department to be a safety hazard to others.”

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