National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety

Angie Szumlinski Compliance

Despite substantial effort over the past 20 years, preventable harm in health care remains a major concern in the United States. Though many evidence-based, effective best practices related to harm reduction have been identified, they are seldom shared nationally and implemented effectively across multiple organizations. The National Steering Committee for Patient Safety released Safer Together: A National Action Plan to …

RE: Nursing Home Visitation During COVID-19 (Michigan)

Angie Szumlinski Compliance

On September 21, 2020, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs of Michigan posted a memo to licensed federally certified nursing homes. In the memo, they advised that they were seeking clarity between a conflicting order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and guidance from CMS. Please read the full memo below:

PREP-Act Coverage – COVID Screening Tests

Angie Szumlinski Compliance, Health

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the lead agency for the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and on January 31, 2020, declared the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a public-health emergency for the United States. A key component of that response is rapidly expanding COVID-19 testing across America. Within HHS, the Office of the …

OSHA – Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire

Angie Szumlinski Compliance, Health

Respirators must be used in workplaces where employees may be exposed to hazardous airborne contaminants. When respiratory protection is required employers must have a respirator protection program as specified in OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134). Before wearing a respirator, workers must first be medically evaluated using the mandatory medical questionnaire or an equivalent method. Medical Evaluation and Questionnaire …

OSHA Increasing Inspections

Angie Szumlinski Announcements, Compliance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspections are increasing and OSHA is using data related to SNF COVID-19 – that is reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network.  As a reminder, OSHA requires all employers to report inpatient hospitalizations within 24 hours and fatalities within 8 hours when the event is work-related (OSHA Standard 1904.39).  Facilities must do their best …

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services logo

New Reporting and Testing Requirements

Angie Szumlinski Compliance

On August 25, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced changes that will allow better tracking and control over the spread of COVID-19. The regulatory changes implemented by the Trump Administration will require nursing homes to test staff, offer testing to residents for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and report results. This will support efforts on both a …

OIG – Yes – They Are Looking!

Angie Szumlinski Compliance, Studies

Nurse staffing is a key contributor to the quality of care provided in nursing homes. A review conducted by the OIG (Office of the Inspector General) prior to COVID-19 pandemic, focused on staffing data from 2018 and was posted on 8-3-2020. Now, with the 2020 pandemic, it becomes more obvious that adequate staffing for nursing homes is critical as inadequate …

AHRQ Patient Safety Chartbook

Angie Szumlinski Compliance

The Agency for HealthCare Research and Quality recently published the “ChartBook on Patient Safety.” This document is part of a family of documents and tools that support the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR) which is an annual report to Congress mandated in the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999. The QDR provides a comprehensive overview of the …

Discharge Planning

Angie Szumlinski Compliance

There has been a lot of discussion on how to safely manage a discharge to home during visitation restrictions. As with any discharge, the risks associated with an “incomplete” or “bad” discharge are huge! One example: a resident with a cardiac valve replacement enters a skilled nursing facility for rehab. There is no visitation other than window visits and/or Zoom/Facetime …

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 …