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On June 2, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently issued requirements for healthcare facilities to develop and implement Water Management Plans for premise plumbing and cooling towers, in order to prevent infection by Legionella and other opportunistic pathogens from building water systems.

CMS Survey & Certification Letter 17-30:
Requirement to Reduce Legionella Risk in Healthcare Facility Water Systems to Prevent Cases and Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease (LD)

Legionella Infections:
The bacterium Legionella can cause a serious type of pneumonia called LD in persons at risk. Those at risk include persons who are at least 50 years old, smokers, or those with underlying medical conditions such as chronic lung disease or immunosuppression. Outbreaks have been linked to poorly maintained water systems in buildings with large or complex water systems including hospitals and long-term care facilities. Transmission can occur via aerosols from devices such as showerheads, cooling towers, hot tubs, and decorative fountains.

Facility Requirements to Prevent Legionella Infections:
Facilities must develop and adhere to policies and procedures that inhibit microbial growth in building water systems that reduce the risk of growth and spread of legionella and other opportunistic pathogens in water. This policy memorandum applies to Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and Long-Term Care (LTC). However, this policy memorandum is also intended to provide general awareness for all healthcare organizations.

VERTEX, CMS Mandates Water Management Programs in Healthcare Facilities

To learn more about VERTEX’s Building Water Systems Risk Management & Compliance Services, call 888.298.5162 or submit an inquiry.