2019 will bring another significant change to nursing facility infection prevention and control requirements when Phase III of the Requirements of Participation takes effect on November 28, 2019.
Beginning this November 28, all nursing facilities must have a designated Infection Preventionist who is specially trained and running a comprehensive and effective infection prevention and control program.
Infection Prevention & Control Compliance
Except for designating a specially trained Infection Preventionist, all the CMS infection and control requirements have been in full effect since November 2017. Statistics show that nursing home performance in this area needs improvement. The most frequently cited F-Tag in standard nursing facility health inspection surveys is F880 – Infection Prevention & Control. Since November 28, 2017 when the new survey process began, more than one-third of surveys conducted across the nation have included a F880 Infection Prevention & Control citation.
AHCA’s IPCO Training Remains the Solution
While CMS has announced plans to offer a free infection prevention training course some time in Spring 2019, no official date has been announced yet. AHCA/NCAL recommends investing in staff training now rather than waiting to train staff on the requirements that already are in effect. In addition, it is unclear how effective the CMS training will be or whether LTC professionals will like the curriculum and find it as complete as AHCA’s IPCO training.
Nearly 97 percent of the 1,900 health care professionals who have completed the course would recommend IPCO to their colleagues. IPCO provides the comprehensive training necessary for qualified individuals to lead a comprehensive and meaningful infection prevention and control program. AHCA’s course is an online, self-study program with 23 hours of training that meets the educational requirements outlined by CMS. The IPCO program costs $450 for members and $650 for non-members.
IPCO & Your State’s Non-Dues Revenue
Since the IPCO program was launched in mid- 2017, Care Providers of Oklahoma has earned $4,480 in non-dues revenue on IPCO sales. With only 1,900 people nationwide taking AHCA’s IPCO course thus far, tremendous sales and non-dues revenue potential still exist in most states. We urge state affiliates with IPCO marketing partnership agreements like your state has with AHCA to continue to stress with members the importance of taking AHCA’s IPCO training now.
New Marketing Materials
We have updated the messaging on much of our IPCO marketing to highlight the upcoming November 28, 2019 deadline for designating a specially trained Infection Preventionist. Attached are a revised flyer and two articles for your newsletters. Feel free to copy and use these materials. We encourage you to communicate at least monthly with your members about IPCO through November. The attached materials and additional resources also are available in the ASHCAE Clearinghouse.