Tag: CDC

Coronavirus: Studies find steam effective in sterilizing used medical masks

Two new studies show steam can effectively decontaminate medical masks including the N95 respirator mask. Houston-based researchers who produced a small-scale study on reprocessing N95 respirators with steam say reusing sanitized masks is crucial in countries facing PPE shortages. Moist heat is among the most promising COVID-19 decontamination methods, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. […]

CMS provides COVID-19 nursing home information for home health and hospice

CMS’ Quality, Safety and Oversight (QSO) group released a memo directed to nursing homes that is helpful for home health and hospice providers. The memo provides guidance on reporting COVID-19 to residents, representatives and families of residents, as well as reporting the data directly to the CDC. CMS will also begin posting data from the […]

COVID-19: CDC releases changes to transmission-based precautions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a few changes regarding discontinuation of transmission-based precautions and disposition of patients with COVID-19 in health care settings. As of April 30, CDC made the following updates: Updated the name of the “non-test-based strategy” to the “symptom-based strategy” for those with symptoms and the “time-based strategy” […]

Reporting coronavirus cases on the NHSN COVID-19 Module

CMS announced in an April 29 call that all SNFs should be reporting COVID-19 cases on the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) COVID-19 Module. The Module enables SNFs to report information that will then be turned over to local health departments. Information collected includes: Counts of residents and facility personnel with suspected and laboratory positive […]

CMS is working to standardize COVID-19 reporting

In an effort to better track COVID-19 cases in LTCs, CMS is working to implement a standard reporting requirement. “There’s a critical gap in reporting COVID-19 cases nationwide” said Jean Moody-Williams, a CMS spokesperson in a call on April 22. In addition to reporting confirmed cases of COVID-19 to CMS and the CDC, LTCs will […]

COVID-19 reporting violations could lead to hefty fines for SNFs

SNFs will soon be required to report all COVID-19 cases to the CDC on a weekly basis, and failure to do so could lead to Civil monetary penalties (CMPs). The CMPs for non-compliant facilities will likely be around $1,000 a week, increasing over time for facilities that don’t comply, explained CMS administrator Seema Verma in […]

CDC urged to publicly tally LTC facilities with COVID-19 cases

A CDC spokesperson announced that over 400 LTC facilities have confirmed COVID-19 cases as of March 30, but did not announce the names said facilities. Since the virus first began spreading widely throughout the country, the CDC has not kept a running tally of infected facilities, but has computed the totals at least twice. In […]

SNFs face tougher survey guidelines amid COVID-19 spread

An updated survey tool will be released for SNF surveyors that places stricter focus on infection control policies. Plans for the updated tool, based on information gathered from the COVID-19 outbreak at Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, was announced by the federal government on March 23. The CDC determined that in under three weeks […]

CMS releases protective mask guidance for SNFs

CMS expanded the range of acceptable facemasks and respirators that can temporarily be used in SNFs in a March 10 memo. “CMS is working in lockstep with the CDC, FDA, and other Trump Administration partners to protect both patients and the dedicated healthcare workers who are battling the spread of Coronavirus,” said CMS Administrator Seema […]