DQA Memo: Acute Respiratory Illness Outbreaks in LTC Facilities

This memo regarding Reporting, Prevention and Control of Acute Respiratory Illness Outbreaks in Long-Term Care Facilities has been sent to the long term care care facilities through the Division of Quality Assurance. While this is an extensive listserve, due to the importance of this memo, Thomas Haupt, Influenza Surveillance Coordinator, has requested we share this memo with our listserve.   Memo from DQA… Attn: Long-Term Care Facilities FYI / Reporting, Prevention and Control of Acute Respiratory Illness Outbreaks in Long-Term Care Facilities The Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health (DPH) has issued the attached memo regarding reporting, prevention and control of acute respiratory illness outbreaks in long-term care facilities. This memo is intended as guidance to medical and administrative staff of long-term care facilities in Wisconsin. It is left to the discretion of facility staff whether to use this guidance wholly or in part, or to use recommendations from another source to prevent and control respiratory illness in their facility. Guidance marked “required” is mandatory per Wisconsin State Statue 252 or Wisconsin Administrative Code DHS 145. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact Thomas Haupt, Influenza Surveillance Coordinator, at 608-266-5326 or ​

CMS Proposed Changes

CMS Proposed Substantial Changes to Skilled Nursing Facilities Regulations On July 13, CMS put forth significant PROPOSED rule changes that would affect skilled nursing facilities. The proposed rule changes span 403 pages and include significant revisions and additions. At this point in the review of the lengthy document the following areas (but are not limited to) are of great significance and concern: o More extensive Infection Control Requirements that would require a designated Infection Prevention and Control Officer with training in infection prevention and control beyond their initial license. o Facility must include on their interdisciplinary team a qualified mental health professional in the care planning process for residence diagnosed with mental health conditions or prescribed psychotropic drugs. o Center may not use on any basis any person (employee, contract, or agency) that does not meet competency requirements. o QAPI The executive summary of the propsed changes states, “These proposals are also an integral part of our efforts to achieve broad-based improvements both in the quality of health care furnished through federal programs, and in patient safety, while at the same time reducing procedural burdens on providers.” Nowhere in the 403 page document are their proposed changes that would reduce burdens on providers. What can you do? There are 3 Calls to Action: 1. Be Informed! Read the document. 2. Please get as many people to submit individual comments DIRECTLY to CMS by Sept. 14, 2015. Below are the instructions from the CMS memo. In commenting, please refer to file code CMS-3260-P. Because of staff and resource limitations, we cannot accept comments by facsimile (FAX) transmission. You may submit comments in one of four ways (please choose only one of the ways listed): A. […]