CMS provided an update on its infection control pilot program in a November 18, 2016 S&C memo. The pilot program, which CMS announced December 23, 2015, is a three year program to improve the assessment of infection control and infection prevention regulations in LTC facilities, hospitals and during transitions of care between providers.
This is the second year that CMS is conducting pilot surveys, with the expectation that infection control tools and survey processes will be created that will assist surveyors with assessing compliance with the new infection prevention and control Requirements of Participation. In the first year, 10 pilot surveys were conducted, and in FY 2017, there will be 40 hospitals and 1 LTC facility that is associated with the hospital surveyed using the draft survey tools. The providers will be assessed for infection prevention during transitions of care using records from the hospital and associated LTC facility.
These surveys continue to be educational only. There will be no citations issued, but if an Immediate Jeopardy citation is identified, the CMS RO will be notified. CMS has provided draft Infection Control Worksheets being used for the pilots, but specifically states that:
- The worksheets do not reflect current CMS policy
- The worksheets will not be used during current surveys – only during the educations surveys in the pilot
- The questions on the worksheets reflect new regulatory language, which is part of the testing process
- CMS has not made a firm commitment to use the ICWS during LTC surveys or hospital surveys at this point. A revised version of the hospital ICWS will be used and CMS believes there will be further changes based on the information that comes out of the pilot surveys
Read CMS S&C letter “Infection Control Pilot: 2017 Update” (Ref: S&C 17-09-ALL).