HHS Proposes to Improve Care for Nursing Home Residents – Includes Infection Control & Antibiotic Stewardship Program

July 24, 2015

Nursing Home Patient
The White House Conference on Aging announced new changes that would make major changes to improve the care and safety of the nearly 1.5 million residents in the more than 15,000 long-term care facilities or nursing homes that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. If finalized, unnecessary hospital readmissions and infections would be reduced, quality of care increased, and safety measures strengthened for the more than 1 million residents in these facilities.

“This proposal is just one part of the administration’s overall commitment to transform our health system to deliver better quality care and spend our healthcare dollars in a smarter way,” says HHS secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “Today’s measures set high standards for quality and safety in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. When a family makes the decision for a loved one to be placed in a nursing home or long-term care facility, they need to know that their loved one’s health and safety are priorities.”

Many of the proposals build on improvements that nursing homes have already made since 1991, the last time these conditions of participation were comprehensively updated. This rule would bring these best practices for resident care to all facilities that participate in Medicare or Medicaid and implement a number of important safeguards that have been identified by patient advocates and other stakeholders, and include additional protections required by the Affordable Care Act.

Changes include updating the nursing home’s infection prevention and control program, including requiring an infection prevention and control officer, and an antibiotic stewardship program that includes antibiotic use protocols and a system to monitor antibiotic use.

Read the Proposed Rule on the Federal Register



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