July 7: Long-Term Care News and Updates
Lina Camacho • July 7, 2022
Part-time option means more juggling for infection control staff
CMS will require nursing homes to have an infection preventionist onsite at least part-time, but that person does not need to be a full-time employee. While nursing homes have had 6 years to prepare for new infection preventionist guidance, CMS revealed last week they will not need to appoint someone to the role full-time. In a CMS memo for state surveyors, the agency said it will require nursing homes to have infection preventionists with “specialized training onsite at least part-time to oversee the facility’s infection prevention & control program.”
In 2016, providers were warned that an IP requirement was on the way. But just weeks before the provision was to go into effect in 2019, CMS leaders announced they would not push out guidance — and would limit enforcement — until the second quarter of 2020. Then COVID hit.
It also laid out that the IP must be professionally trained in nursing, medical technology, microbiology, or other related fields & hold requisite degrees or certifications.
FDA asks for better booster shots as U.S. plans its fall COVID vaccine strategy
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has asked vaccine manufacturers to add an omicron Ba.4/5 spike protein component to the current vaccine composition to create a two-component, or bivalent, booster shot.
The agency late last week announced that it wants new boosters available in early to mid-fall 2022 to increase immunity in already-vaccinated recipients. The idea is to have new boosters ready for the fall season to avoid a surge in infections as vaccine immunity wanes over time, and a new generation of SARS-CoV-2 variants are now skirting the original vaccines’ defenses.
The independent advisers voted last week to recommend the drug changes for the fall season.
OSHA Extends Covid-Related Inspection Program in Nursing Homes, Other High-Risk Employers
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will continue to monitor nursing homes as its pandemic-era initiative continues to keep an eye on employers with many workers at risk of contracting COVID-19.
The Revised National Emphasis Program for COVID-19 will be extended until further notice, according to a U.S. Department of Labor news release. OSHA will focus its scrutiny on companies that put “the largest number of workers at serious risk of contracting the coronavirus,” along with employers that engage in retaliatory efforts against staff who say they work in unsafe or unhealthful conditions.
This is part of an ongoing effort by the government to monitor workplaces for health risks as well as potential violations of labor rights. OSHA’s website states: “We can all do our part to help stop this deadly virus by taking precautions like washing our hands regularly with soap and water; staying home if we are sick; staying away from those who have symptoms; avoiding close contact with people who are sick and using masks if you are around them, and not touching your face or eyes.”
Sign up and join us for BASE10’s upcoming webinar on Thursday, July 28th at 1PM CST: “Understanding Cardiovascular Disease Through a Different Lens with Precision Medicine.”
About BASE10 Genetics
Located in Chicago, BASE10 is a healthcare software technology company whose platform creates turnkey disease management programs that can be deployed at scale for nursing home operators, pharmacies, payors, and self-funded employers.
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