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CMS proposes new rules to reduce HAIs and antibiotic use by hospitals.

June 16, 2016

On June 16, 2016 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it is proposing to update the requirements that hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. The proposed changes to the requirements, formally called the Conditions of Participation, would modernize and revise the requirements to reflect current standards of practice and support improvements in quality of care by:

  • Reducing readmissions;
  • Reducing barriers to care;
  • Reducing the incidence of hospital-acquired conditions (including healthcare-associated infections);
  • Improving the use of antibiotics (including the potential for reduced antibiotic resistance);
  • Addressing workforce shortage issues; and
  • Improving patient protections.

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Proposed changes to hospital and CAH requirements

Under the proposed rule, hospitals and CAHs would be required to:

  • Have hospital-wide infection prevention and control and antibiotic stewardship programs for the surveillance, prevention, and control of healthcare-associated infections and other infectious diseases, and for the appropriate use of antibiotics;
  • Designate leaders of the infection prevention and control program and the antibiotic stewardship program respectively, who are qualified through education, training, experience, or certification.  This requirement allows for flexibility in staffing in order to suit the needs of each hospital or CAH; and
  • Would require that a hospital’s Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program incorporate quality indicator data related to hospital readmissions and hospital-acquired conditions.

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