Therapy – Playing an important role in Infection Prevention and Control
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) released several announcements last week impacting skilled nursing facilities and other health care providers. As no surprise, the focus continues to be on infection prevention and control (IPC).
- HHS renewed the COVID-19 National Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration, now set to expire on October 23, 2020. For skilled nursing and therapy providers, this means that federal waiver flexibilities granted to health care providers earlier in the spring will continue until the PHE expires.
- HHS and CMS announced an initiative for rapid point-of-care diagnostic devices and tests in nursing homes.
- CMS released Frequently Asked Questions to Assist Medicare Providers (PDF) with billing. See page 99 for Skilled Nursing Facility information.
- CDC released information that some procedures performed on patients are more likely to generate higher concentrations of infectious respiratory aerosols than coughing, sneezing, talking, or breathing. Read more FAQs from CDC.
- Illinois Department of Public Health provided details at the end of June for PPE Guidance for COVID-19 in Long Term Care Settings and earlier, COVID-19 Control Measures for Long-Term Care Interim Guidance.
Due to increased enforcement of penalties for facilities with persistent IPC violations and enforcement actions on lower level IPC deficiencies, ensuring a comprehensive IPC program, supported by your Interdisciplinary team and partners, is vital for those you serve and your facility’s ongoing success.
The Advanced Therapy Solutions (ATS) team is focused on supporting your IPC program and positive patient outcomes. Contact me to discuss your specific goals.