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HealthNovember 25, 2020

Infection prevention teams are key in fulfilling CMS COVID-19 regulatory requirements

On October 6, 2020, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance on how it plans to implement its August 2020 interim final rule (IFC) which included new requirements for hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) to report data in accordance with a frequency and in a standardized format as specified by the Secretary during the Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19.

Additionally, CMS has established a multi-step approach to address noncompliance with reporting in which failures to report this level of COVID-19 data could result in termination of the hospital’s Medicare provider agreement.

So what does this all mean for hospital Infection Preventionists (IPs)? This means that the daily reporting of COVID-19 data from hospitals (except for psychiatric and rehabilitation hospitals who report weekly) to CMS is now a mandated condition of Medicare and Medicaid participation.

Currently, CMS’ hospital COVID-19 data reporting guidance includes the capture of 38 data elements including:

  • 16 required facility-related elements
  • 13 required COVID-19 elements,
  • Six soon-to-be required influenza elements, and
  • Three optional staffing and supply-related elements

Infection prevention programs have been monumental in driving COVID-19 hospital surveillance, reporting, and response efforts around the world. Hospital IPs continue to do more and report more data despite time limitations, resource challenges and competing priorities. The current CMS COVID-19 reporting regulation albeit important, is no exception to the load for IPs.

Infection prevention teams can leverage solutions, like Sentri7, to assist with capturing various COVID-19 and influenza-related data elements required by CMS.

Specific data elements that can be supported by Sentri7 include:

For COVID-19

  • Total current adult hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 (can be presented by location)
  • Total current pediatric hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19
  • Total current inpatients with hospital onset laboratory-confirmed COVID-19
  • Total adult COVID-19 laboratory-confirmed inpatient admissions from previous day (can be presented by age bracket)
  • Total pediatric COVID-19 laboratory-confirmed inpatient admissions from previous day
  • Total COVID-19 laboratory-confirmed ED encounters from previous day
  • Total remdesivir use from previous day

For Influenza

  • Total current hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza (can be presented by location)
  • Total laboratory-confirmed influenza admissions from previous day
  • Total current hospitalized patients with both laboratory-confirmed influenza and COVID-19

Learn more about how Sentri7 eases the burden of regulatory reporting by allowing you to streamline patient identification and regulatory reporting requirements, and comply with new COVID-19 requirements during the PHE.

Mackenzie-Weise
Infection Prevention Clinical Program Manager
Mackenzie Weise is a trained Epidemiologist with over 12 years of experience in the areas of infectious diseases, data analytics and health informatics.
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