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CMS awards funds to improve infection control in ambulatory surgical centers

The government is funding states’ efforts to inspect and shore up infection control gaps in ambulatory surgical centers (ASC).

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is awarding $572,250 for 12 states to conduct surveys of 125 ASCs by September 30, according to a CMS July 30 Press release. [1]

“Keeping patients healthy is one of the requirements of the Recovery Act, and the first 12 states that have volunteered to focus attention on these surgical centers are taking a giant step in helping to reduce infections that affect millions of patients every year,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.”

The onsite surveys will follow Medicare’s health and safety standards and inspectors will use a new CMS survey tool developed with the help of the CDC.

The first sates to participate in the program are: Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.

The CMS will make available an additional $9 million to all states to do inspections beginning in October 2009. Additionally, the CDC will make available $40 million to public health departments to create or expand state-based HAI prevention and surveillance efforts.

A couple of weeks ago, fellow blogger Libby Chinnes wrote about these new CMS regulations for ASCs and provided some compliance tips [2]. If your facility resides in one of the aforementioned states – or any other state for that matter – you may want to give it a read.

Also Chinnes and IC blogger Peg Luebbert [3] are presenting an Infection Prevention Core Training Bundle [4] that will give you in depth training on prevention of HAIs, MDROs, and best practices that will help you ensure your IC program is up to par.