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Antimicrobial Stewardship Program - Mandatory Requirement for Hospitals

Antibiotic stewardship programs soon will be mandatory.

According to a proposed rule published in June from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), all hospitals will be required to develop and maintain antibiotic stewardship programs to reduce unnecessary prescriptions and combat the growing rates of Clostridium difficile and other antibiotic-resistant infections.

Hospitals will be required to install an active hospital-wide surveillance program to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections and other infectious diseases and to optimize antibiotic use. CMS would change the name of the section in the hospital Conditions of Participation manual to Infection Prevention and Control and Antibiotic Stewardship Program. Hospital policies must be amended to include the CMS policy requirements.

The new proposed rule is part of a greater National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria by 2020. The plan will lead to the reduction and incidence of serious threats including bacteria carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and C. diff.

CMS is accepting comments on the new rule until Aug. 15.

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