Requirements to Reduce Legionella Risk in Healthcare Facilities

Senior LivingEffective immediately, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is requiring healthcare facilities to prevent Legionella infections by developing and adhering to policies and procedures that inhibit Legionella pathogen growth in building water systems. Legionella can cause a serious type of pneumonia called LD in people who are at least 50 years old, smokers or individuals with underlying medical conditions.

Legionella outbreaks have been linked to poorly maintained water systems in buildings with large water systems such as long-term care facilities. CMS regulations for nursing facilities states that, “the facility must establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary, and comfortable environment and help to prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections.”

Surveyors will review policies, procedures and reports documenting water management implementation results to verify that the facilities:

  • Conduct a facility risk assessment to identify where Legionella could grow.
  • Implement a water management program.
  • Specify testing protocols and acceptable ranges for control measures, and document the results of testing and corrective actions taken when control limits are not maintained.

Healthcare facilities are expected to comply with these CMS requirements. As your business partner and trusted senior living advisor, our highly experienced staff will help minimize your risk by ensuring your community meets the most current safety requirements. To learn more, contact an AssuredPartners NL Senior Living Agent.

Sources: Department of Health & Human Services, CMS

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