• CMS Clarifies Infection Control Compliance Requirements for Nursing Homes
  • October 7, 2010 | Author: Lori McLaughlin
  • Law Firm: Krieg DeVault LLP - Schererville Office
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued Survey and Certification letter 10-28-NH pertaining to Point of Care Devices and Infection Control in Nursing Homes. Point-of-care testing is diagnostic testing that is performed at or near the site of resident care. This may be accomplished through use of portable, handheld instruments such as blood glucose meters. This testing may involve obtaining a blood specimen from the resident using a fingerstick device.  The guidance in this document addresses survey protocols for determining a facility's compliance with infection control requirements noting that the following actions would result in a deficiency citation against the facility:

    • Reusing fingerstick devices (e.g., pen-like devices) for more than one resident;

    • Using a blood glucose meter (or other point-of-care device) for more than one resident without cleaning and disinfecting it after use.

    CMS will be revising its interpretive guidelines to note that reuse of a fingerstick device for more than one resident should be cited as immediate jeopardy.  A facility's use of a blood glucose meter for more than one resident without proper cleaning and disinfection is a deficiency in infection control that warrants corrective action but may not constitute immediate jeopardy.  This deficiency will warrant further investigation by surveyors to determine the level of severity.