The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as part of its plan to limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), is calling on health care providers across the country to step up their infection control procedures.
CMS has issued guidance for hospitals and nursing homes which includes answers to frequently asked questions related to screening staff and visitors, the process for transferring patients between nursing homes and hospitals in cases for which COVID-19 is suspected or diagnosed, and circumstances under which providers should take precautionary measures for patients and residents diagnosed with or showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
Effective immediately, and until further notice, State Survey Agencies and Accrediting Organizations will focus nursing home and hospital inspections exclusively on infection control-related issues and other serious health and safety threats, like allegations of abuse. CMS has released a memo outlining the details of this temporary focus, how the surveys will be conducted and protocols for the inspection process if COVID-19 is identified or suspected.
CMS has deployed an infection preventionist to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's headquarters in Atlanta to provide assistance with the development of real-time guidance.
For more information about CMS' actions related to COVID-19, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-announces-actions-address-spread-coronavirus.