May 05, 2011
Study Reveals Infection Control Violations at 15 Percent of U.S. Nursing Homes
Fifteen percent of U.S. nursing homes receive deficiency citations for infection control per year, according to a new study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
Conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health, the study analyzed deficiency citation data collected for the purpose of Medicare/Medicaid certification between 2000 and 2007, representing approximately 16,000 nursing homes per year and a panel of roughly 100,000 observations. The records analyzed represent 96 percent of all U.S. nursing home facilities. The team discovered a strong correlation between low staffing levels and the receipt of an infection control deficiency citation.
Infections are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in nursing homes, responsible for nearly 400,000 deaths per year. Although this has been the focus of mainstream media attention, very little empirical research has been conducted on the subject.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that nursing homes be certified before receiving reimbursement for Medicare and/or Medicaid residents. As part of this certification process, facilities that do not meet certain standards are issued deficiency citations. This study examined the deficiency citation for infection control requirements known as the F-Tag 441.
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