CMS Mandates Legionella Testing in Healthcare Facilities
Pure Air Control Services in conjunction with their Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory assists healthcare facilities with fulfillment of the newly mandated CMS Legionella requirements.
Tampa, FL—The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new mandate 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 of Legionella,/em> testing. 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. and their CDC Elite Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) division understands this critical issue. As an industry-leading indoor air quality firm, they comprehend the provisions made in 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 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, “EDLab has published a Legionella Handbook for the public 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 minimize the risk, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Rajiv Sahay, Director of EDLab at 1-800-422-7873, ext. 304, email email@example.com.
About Pure Air Control Services:
Pure Air Control Services, Inc. was established in 1984 as a small, mechanical, contracting firm and has since set the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis, environmental laboratory and remediation. Pure Air Control Services has serviced more than 600 million square feet of indoor environments in over 10,000 facilities.
Pure Air’s nationally performed services include: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check; a CDC ELITE Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; HVAC New Life Restoration and PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning/Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services.
About Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab):
The Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) (established in 1992) at Pure Air Control Services (PACS) is an environmental lab offering complete and comprehensive indoor environmental microbiology laboratory services. They include: microbiology, aerobiology, chemistry, allergen assays and microscopy designed to meet all your indoor air needs. EDLab supports IAQ investigations by assisting with strategic sampling plan development and supplying media collection equipment while performing a wide range of environmental analyses.