• CDC - Influenza Outbreak Management in Long-Term Care Facilities

    Thursday January 5, 2012

    Influenza can spread quickly and have serious consequences in long-term care facilities, putting residents - especially those with certain medical conditions at greater risk of developing complications like pneumonia and bronchitis. The flu also can make chronic health problems worse and may result in hospitalization and sometimes even death.

    The January 6, 2012 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report includes a report that highlights the importance of having and following an influenza outbreak management strategy.

    CDC has posted consolidated influenza outbreak management guidance for long-term care facilities at: www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol/ltc-facility-guidance.htm

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  • Federal Requirements for the IDR Process

    Wednesday January 4, 2012

    Federal Requirements for the Independent Informal Dispute Resolution Process

    New regulations have been added at 42 CFR, Sections 488.331 and 488.431 as required under section 6111 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 enacted on March 23, 2010. This memorandum provides interim advanced guidance regarding the Federal requirements for the Independent IDR Process for nursing homes.

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is in the process of updating the SOM to reflect the new regulations found at 42 CFR Sections 488.331 and 488.431. An advance copy of the interim guidance is attached to the memorandum.

    IDR S&C Letter Dec 2011

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  • Medicare S&C Budget FY 2012

    Wednesday January 4, 2012

    CMS Issues New Guidance for 2012 Medicare S&C Budget

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) issued a new S&C memorandum on December 9, 2011 related to the Survey and Certification Budget for Physical Year 2012. The memorandum states that CMS is exploring methods to increase the focus on certain high priority areas. To make possible such increased focus and to accommodate the budget constraints, they are examining ways to reduce surveyor time in areas of lower risk. Particular areas in which they seek to increase the focus include:

    • Poorly Performing Nursing Homes
    • Inappropriate Anti-Psychotic Use
    • Avoidable Falls

      The effective date of this material is January 1, 2012.  

    For more details see attached memorandum.

    FY 2012 Medicare S&C Budget

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  • Smoking Safety in Long Term Care

    Wednesday January 4, 2012

    Smoking Safety in Long Term Care

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Survey & Certification (S&C) Memorandum November 10, 2011 reminding both surveyors and facilities of the importance of smoking safety for residents who smoke. The S&C memo reviews some of the information contained in the Surveyor Guidance for F323 - Accidents & Supervision.

    Smoking Safety in Long Term Care

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  • Dining Practice Standards 2011

    Wednesday January 4, 2012

    Pioneer Network Announces New Dining Practices Standards 

    The Pioneer Network announced that its Food and Dining Clinical Standards Task Force: A Rothschild Regulatory Task Force has finalized new Dining Practice Standards agreed to by twelve national clinical standard-setting associations. These nationally agreed upon new food and dining standards of practice support individualized care and self-directed living versus traditional diagnosis-focused treatment for people living in nursing home. The New Dining Practice Standards document reflects evidence-based research available to-date as well as current thinking.

    The Pioneer Network stated that the importance of these new agreed upon clinical standards cannot be overstated as food and dining are an integral part of individualized care and self-directed living for people living in nursing homes.

    Pioneer Network plans to submit the new Dining Practice Standards to CMS, FDA, CDC and the long-term care community at large.  It is anticipated that CMS will refer to these new agreed-upon standards of practice within long term care interpretive guidance where they fit as CMS usually refers to the current standards of practice set by the clinicians who work within the long term care field. It is the goal of the Task Force that surveyors, clinicians and interdisciplinary team members will put these new standards into practice in order to continue their efforts to improve quality of life for those living in nursing homes across the country.

    New Dining Practice Standards 8-26-11

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  • OSHA Press Release 2011

    Wednesday January 4, 2012

    OSHA to Focus on Nursing Home

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will soon launch the National Emphasis Program on Nursing Homes and Residential Care Facilities. This is in response to what OSHA sees as higher than average incidents of occupational injuries and illnesses among health care support workers. Through this initiative, they will increase inspections of these facilities, focusing on back injuries from resident handling or lifting patients; exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other infectious diseases; workplace violence; and slips, trips and falls.

    See OSHA Press Release 2011 for more details.  

    OSHA Publishes New and Updated Materials on Worker Safety and Health

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published new and updated educational brochures on a number of topics including workers' rights, employers' rights following an OSHA inspection, as well as how to protect workers from hazards in the construction, general and maritime industries. OSHA's Worker' Rights booklet describes the rights to which workers are legally entitled under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The booklet, Employer Rights and Responsibilities Following an OSHA Inspection, reviews what happens after an inspection and is provided to employers during an OSHA inspection. The agency also recently published an updated Construction Industry Digest, and a new Small Entity Compliance Guide for Respiratory Protection Standard, Laboratory Safety Guidance, a series of new QuickCards and new publications to help protect construction, general industry and shipyard workers. Please call 1-800-321-OSHA or (202) 693-1999 to order copies or visit OSHA's Publications page: http://www.osha.gov/pls/publications/publication.AthruZ?pType=AthruZ)  to order online.

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