Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Implement Mandate to Reduce Legionella Risks in Health

Pure Air Control Services in conjunction with their Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory assists healthcare facilities with fulfillment of the newly mandated CMS Legionella requirements.

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - TAMPA, Fla. - Jul 20, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) (https://www.cms.gov/) released a new mandate (https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/Downloads/Survey-and-Cert-Letter-17-30.pdf) on June 2, 2017 requiring all certified Medicare and Medicaid facilities to have potable water testing and water management plans that meet ASHRAE industry standards to reduce the risk of Legionella.  CMS expects applicable facilities to comply or risk citation for non-compliance with CMS Conditions of Participation. A June 9 revision specified that the policy applies to Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities.

Legionnaire’s Disease (LD) is a severe and sometimes fatal pneumonia that can occur in people who inhale aerosolized water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria.  Those most at risk include persons who are least 50 years of age, smokers and those with chronic lung disease or immunosuppression. A recent review of LD outbreaks in the U.S. between 2000-2014 showed that 19% of reported outbreaks were associated with long-term care facilities and 15% with hospitals. The rate of case of legionellosis increased 286% in the same timeframe. 5,000 cases of legionellosis were reported to the CDC in 2014 alone. About 9% of those cases were fatal.

The importance of this mandate cannot be understated. Pure Air Control Services, Inc (http://www.pureaircontrols.com/). and their CDC Elite Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (http://www.edlab.org/) (EDLab) division understands this critical issue. As an industry-leading indoor air quality firm, they are very familiar with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 188 on legionellosis risk management for building water systems, which is the cornerstone for the CMS mandate. Besides regularly performing Legionella testing, analysis and reporting, EDLab has conducted many free educational webinars (http://bit.ly/EDL_Legionella_Series) on the topic of Legionella testing and developing a water management plan.

“Education is key in helping healthcare facilities understand the need for regular testing and maintenance”, says Dr. Rajiv Sahay, CIAQP, FIAS, Director of EDLab, “That is why EDLab published a Legionella Handbook for our clients to use as a reference when making their water management plans. Having well-defined protocols in place, and a body like CMS to enforce them will undoubtedly reduce risks, if not eradicate it.”

EDLab’s Legionella Handbook: Specifications for the Inspection, Detection and Identification of Legionella in and Around Buildings is a 32-page booklet that can serve as the basis for a best practices approach to creating a testing regimen and water management plan for any type of facility. The handbook specification has been standardized to follow a similar format of environmental management of Legionella to provide a service which meets or exceeds the industry expectation to minimize the risk of legionellosis.

Pure Air Control Services, Inc. and EDLab can provide sample collection, testing, analysis and reporting for any facility in need of implementing such a plan to comply with the new CMS Legionella mandate.

For more information on Legionella testing or the Legionella Handbook please contact Alan Wozniak, President of Pure Air Control Services, Inc. at 1-800-422-7873, ext. 802, email awozniak@pureaircontrols.com or Dr. Rajiv Sahay, Director of EDLab at 1-800-422-7873, ext. 304, email rsahay@pureaircontrols.com.

Source : Pure Air Control Services, Inc

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CATEGORIES : Medical
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