CDC and CMS Issue Joint Statement on Infection Reporting Requirements

By on 5:17 AM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued a joint statement reminding healthcare facilities of the requirements concerning reporting healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) events.

The statement was issued following anecdotal reports of intentional non-reporting of infection data. CDC and CMS require all infections that meet the specified National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) criteria and that CMS requires for incentive payment or public reporting purposes be reported to NHSN.

As the joint statement notes, organizations that do not follow these requirements could face serious ramifications: "CMS reminds hospitals that intentionally reporting incorrect data, or deliberately failing to report data that are required to be reported, may violate applicable Medicare laws and regulations. The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS's) Office of Inspector General (OIG) protects the integrity of HHS programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. The Inspector General has the authority to exclude individuals and entities from participation in the Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs and to impose civil monetary penalties for certain misconduct related to federal healthcare care programs."

The joint statement also notes, "While there is no evidence of a widespread problem, CDC and CMS take any deviation from NHSN protocols seriously. ... CDC and CMS underscore the importance of infection reporting by hospitals and other healthcare facilities for patient safety. All facilities should adhere to the NHSN protocol, definitions and criteria to ensure the reliability and comparability of the data."

NHSN is the nation's most widely used HAI tracking system. NHSN provides facilities, states, regions and the nation with data to identify problem areas, measure progress of prevention efforts and reduce eliminate healthcare-associated infections.

Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS) is highly regarded as a leader in providing HAI surveillance and data validation services for healthcare organizations including acute care and long term-acute care hospitals. ICCS also assists ambulatory surgery centers with surveillance methods and HAI tracking. To learn more about these services, contact ICCS.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.