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The ever-growing list of resources from CMS includes guidance related to particular settings including hospice, SNFs, and home health.

The ever-growing list of resources from CMS includes guidance related to particular settings including hospice, SNFs, and home health.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued several statements recently with regard to infection control, patient care, and provider safety precautions in a variety of settings. To prevent further spread of the virus, "all health care providers must immediately review their procedures to ensure compliance with CMS’ infection control requirements," said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a press release. Following is a summary CMS guidance.

Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention Concerning Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Home Health Agencies
These guidelines address how to screen home health patients for COVID-19, when staff should avoid home visits, if and when patients with confirmed COVID-19 should be transferred to a hospital, and special consideration for patients requiring therapeutic interventions, among others.

Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Nursing Homes (REVISED)
CMS has provided recommendations for limiting transmission of the virus in skilled nursing facilities, including screening and/or restricting visitors. It also offers information on accepting residents from or transferring residents to hospitals.

Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention Concerning Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) by Hospice Agencies
The document provides guidelines for screening and treating patients, visitors, and hospice staff for COVID-19, as well as infection control and use of personal protective equipment. CMS recommends coordinating these actions with local health departments.

Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act Requirements and Implications Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
CMS has published guidance to hospitals with emergency departments on patient screening, treatment, and transfer requirements to prevent the spread of infectious disease and illness, including COVID-19. Any hospital that participates in Medicare or Medicaid should follow both CDC guidance for infection control and Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act requirements.

Medicare Advantage Organizations, Part D Sponsors, and Medicare-Medicaid Plans: Information Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 – COVID-19
This memo explains special requirements, permissive actions, relaxation of "refill-too-soon" edits in Medicare Part D, and business continuity plans in Medicare Advantage, among other topics.

Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients With Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings
The CDC recommendations include standard precautions, patient placement for those with known or suspected COVID-19, infection control, monitoring and managing personnel who are ill or have been exposed to the virus, and protocol for reporting between and within health care facilities.

The document updates CMS guidance on personal protective equipment, stating that facemasks, which protect the wearer from splashes and sprays, are an acceptable temporary alternative to respirators, which filter the air, for most medical services until demand for respirators lessens.

Interim U.S. Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Healthcare Personnel With Potential Exposure in a Healthcare Setting to Patients With Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
The CDC document describes how to assess a provider's level of exposure, risk factors, recommended monitoring, and type of work restrictions.


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