Tag: CDC

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 […]

WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11. “This is the first pandemic caused by coronavirus,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on a conference call. “We’re deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” Tedros said before officially declaring the […]

CMS releases additional infection control guidance in light of COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services sent out a notice today regarding extra infection control guidance in light of COVID-19. An outbreak of the virus at Life Care in Kirkland, Wash. that resulted in seven deaths with eight sick has prompted SNFs to take notice and CMS to issue new guidance that includes specific […]

COVID-19 outbreak reported in Washington SNF

A COVID-19 outbreak has been reported at Life Care Center, a SNF in Kirkland, Washington. To date, approximately 50 residents and employees have fallen ill with an unknown respiratory illness, and are being tested for the new coronavirus. Three of the facility’s residents that tested positive for the virus have since passed away. SNF residents […]

Home health grouper updated to include new code for vaping-related disorders

Effective April 1, 2020, the CDC is implementing into the ICD-10-CM code set a new code for reporting vaping-related disorders. The code was created in response to recent occurrences of these disorders. The grouper contractor developed the new Home Health Grouper to accommodate this new code, effective for claim from dates on or after April […]

Coronavirus fears at work: What employers need to know to stay protected

News reports of deaths and illnesses from the rapidly spreading coronavirus get scarier every day. Millions of people are being quarantined. Foreign companies and governments are evacuating their people from hard-hit areas of China where the virus got its start. And even employees who don’t travel for work are getting anxious about traveling coworkers who […]

Flexible leave policies may deter staff from coming into work sick

Despite policies stating that LTC staff with acute respiratory illness (ARI) should stay home, a recent study found that a majority of staff still came into work while sick. The study, conducted by Hilary M. Babcock, MD, MPH and colleagues, surveilled a 120-bed facility over a five-month span and found that 89% of staff reported […]

Flu prevention in SNFs

Flu season is once again upon us, and SNF staff need to take precautionary measures to protect the frail residents in their care. About 19 million Americans have contracted the flu so far this season, leading to an approximate 12,000 to 30,000 deaths, according to a recent CDC report. The CDC recommends that SNFs take […]