Long-Term Care

CMS releases new infection control guidelines for nursing homes

PPS Alert for Long-Term Care, September 1, 2009

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On July 17, CMS released Transmittal R51SOMA, which combines and revises the surveyor guidance on SNF infection control requirements by incorporating F-tags 442, 443, 444, and 445 into F441. The revisions, which take effect September 30, do not include any regulatory changes. However, the level of detail included in the guidance is substantial and many facilities will have to revise their infection control and prevention programs to ensure compliance.

The new guidance comes at a time when providers are preparing for a potentially virulent flu season. In addition to a rise in cases of the traditional flu, this flu season may lead to an increased spread of the H1N1 virus (swine flu), which the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic June 11. Compliance with the new requirements may not only reduce the risk of a flu outbreak among residents, but prevent facilities from receiving survey deficiencies.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to PPS Alert for Long-Term Care.

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