New Federal Proposal Emphasizes Infection Prevention

Infection prevention is a key element of a new federal proposed rule intended to update the Medicare and Medicaid Conditions of Participation affecting 6,228 acute care and critical access hospitals across the U.S. The proposed rule issued June 13 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would require hospitals to empanel hospital-wide prevention and surveillance programs, emphasizing control of infections and appropriate use of antibiotics. Hospitals would be obliged to designate leaders of infection control and antibiotic stewardship and to establish policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identify), sexual orientation, age or disability. Hospitals would be required to assure that all medical records include patient discharge instructions and that records are accessible to patients either in hard copy or electronically. The proposed rule carries a 60 day comment period. For more information, visit www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection.