CMS Final Rule – §483.80 Infection Control

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Implementation Date: Phase 1 – November 28, 2016

The new §483.80 adds additional requirements for infection prevention and control. The provisions under existing §483.65 have been re-designated as §483.80. Each facility must implement an “Infection prevention and control program” (IPCP) that must follow accepted national standards, be based upon the facility assessment conducted according to §483.70(e) and include a system for preventing, identifying, reporting, investigating, and controlling infections and communicable diseases for all residents, staff, volunteers, visitors, and other individuals providing services under a contractual arrangement.

Facilities must have written standards for the IPCP, including a system of surveillance designed to identify possible communicable disease or infections; reporting requirements for possible incidents of communicable disease or infections; standard and transmission-based precautions to prevent the spread of infections; isolations policies; policies to prohibit employees with a communicable disease or infection from direct contact with residents; and hand hygiene procedures. Facilities are also required to provide training to their staff regarding the IPCP.

The IPCP must also include an antibiotic stewardship program that includes antibiotic use protocols and systems for monitoring antibiotic use and recording incidents identified under the IPCP, as well as corrective actions taken by the facility. The implementation date for this new requirement has been pushed back to Phase 2 – November 28, 2017.

Facilities are also required to designate an infection preventionist (IP) who is responsible for the IPCP and who has received specialized training in infection prevention and control. The IP is required to be a healthcare professional with specialized training in infection prevention and control beyond their initial professional degree. The IP must have primary professional training in nursing, medical technology, microbiology, epidemiology, or other related field and can be qualified by education, training, experience, or certification. Furthermore, the IP is required to be a member of the facility’s Quality Assessment and Assurance committee. The implementation date regarding the IP has been pushed back to Phase 3 – November 28, 2019.

Finally, §483.80(f) is a new section that requires that facilities review their IPCP annually and update the program as necessary. The current requirements for influenza and pneumococcal immunizations have been relocated from the current §483.25(n) to §483.80(d), and the requirement concerning linens has also been moved from §483.65(c) to §483.80(e).

Please continue to check our blog for additional updates to the CMS Final Rule.

By Jared M. Byrne

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