Refusing to Wear Masks

Angie Szumlinski Compliance

What can you do? The rules on mask wearing and source control have now come to a rough consensus. Masks are now mandatory in most states and service can be denied to anyone entering a facility without a mask. There are currently no cases or court decisions on whether it is negligence to allow an unmasked person to remain in …

CMS Revisions

Angie Szumlinski Compliance

On July 9th the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revised the April 24th : QSO Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System updates, Nursing Home Staff Counts, Frequently Asked Questions, and Access to Ombudsman (REVISED). This was to remind facilities that providing ombudsman access to residents is required per 42 CFR § 483.10(f)(4)(i) and per the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security …

Mask Exemption – Probably Not!

Angie Szumlinski Compliance

Yes, we are all required to wear masks in most parts of the country if we are indoors or in crowded, outdoor locations. The CDC recommendations state “cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance”. If you …

Facemask/PPE Do’s and Don’ts

Angie Szumlinski Compliance

As we continue to navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic, many healthcare professionals are becoming numb when it comes to using facemasks. Many of us have been very successful at protecting our residents from the spread of the virus but now is not the time to lower our standards or relax infection control best practices. Here are a few reminders for …

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Point of Care Testing – Are You Prepared?

Angie Szumlinski Compliance

Last week, Administrator Verma held a nursing home call announcing that “Point of Care” testing will be made available to all long-term care facilities in the country, beginning with those located in high-risk hot spots first. The Quidel Corporation’s Sofia 2 SARS Antigen Fluorescent Immunoassay (FIA) received an emergency use authorization from the FDA on May 8, 2020, and is …

Protective Eyewear – CDC Update

Angie Szumlinski Announcements, Compliance

On July 15, 2020, the CDC announced a change to the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for HealthCare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. Eye protection is an important part of PPE in preventing unnecessary exposure. As with any point of entry into the body (i.e., nose, mouth, broken skin, etc.) the eyes are considered high risk …

Video Cameras – Remote IC Surveys

Angie Szumlinski Compliance

The question of “should we be using video cameras?” is one we hear frequently, should we have them, should we not, can we use them in common areas, can residents have them in their rooms, etc.? In a few venues, the law requires a provider to allow video cameras in resident rooms, but in most states, the law is silent …

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CMS Memo Regarding Surveillance Issued

Angie Szumlinski Compliance

The new memo outlines a performance-based funding requirement tied to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act supplemental grants for State Survey Agencies, new guidance for the limited resumption of routine survey activities and enhanced penalties for noncompliance with infection control. You can read the new memo here: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-31-all.pdf

Don’t Do That, Do This!

Angie Szumlinski Compliance

When posting facility data In this time of ever-changing rules and regulations, providers are now responsible for posting facility data on the CDC/NHSN website. This data may be used to determine when and if an infection control survey should be initiated, how much PPE is being utilized, how much PPE will be needed, how you are doing with staffing, etc. …

Infection Control – Focused Surveys

Angie Szumlinski Compliance, Health

As we continue to struggle with the effects of COVID-19 in our centers, the loss of life, devastating illness, and the negative effects of isolation, CMS is continuing to perform focused infection control surveys. Yes, that piece of our life has also changed as well, these surveys will be performed remotely with limited “on-site” time. Some states are allowing 100% …