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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

CMS considering more nursing home oversight on antibiotic stewardship, interfacility communication

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is considering stepping up oversight of long term care facilities, particularly in the areas of interfacility communication and antibiotic stewardship, Hospital Infection Control & Prevention has learned.

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology noted in a recent new guidebook on long term care that “the CMS Division of Nursing Homes is currently working with strategic partners to develop strategies to reduce preventable health care associated infections. This means that the focus on infection prevention and control will increase.”1

Deborah Patterson Burdsall, MSN, RN-BC, CIC, one of the authors of the APIC book and corporate infection and corporate infection preventionists for Lutheran Life Communities in Arlington Heights, IL says CMS has two key areas of interest.

“Antimicrobial stewardship and interfacility communication. Those are the two biggies,” she says.

Indeed, with CMS penalties now in place for excess hospital readmissions, communication between facilities about the status of residents and patients moving across the health care continuum has become particularly important. The way that CMS is modifying its payment structures is forcing interfacility communication –which is a positive thing,” says Burdsall.

For more on this story see the March 2014 issue of Hospital Infection Control & Prevention