The CMS has told hospitals administrators that all facilities will have to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's standards for blood-borne pathogens or risk facing civil penalties. Public, but not federal, hospitals in 26 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam are not covered by such requirements. In a letter to hospitals, the CMS said most hospitals are already subject to the OHSA requirement or state standards that meet or exceed OSHA's, but non-federal public hospitals in those other locales had not previously been covered. While failing to comply risks civil penalties, Medicare contracts will not be terminated if the hospitals are not in compliance with the OSHA standards. The standards require hospitals to use safe needle devices, involve employees in choosing these devices and maintain a log of injuries from contaminated devices. The requirement becomes effective July 1. -- by Tony Fong
CMS expands reg to some public hospitals
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