The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working to finalize updated guidance related to co-location between hospitals and other providers, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA). The move should clarify policies that govern how hospitals can share space with other providers.

The AHA learned of the plans in a meeting with CMS officials, including David Wright, director of the survey and certification group within CMS' Center for Clinical Standards and Quality. CMS informed AHA that the new guidance has been drafted and is in review.

AHA has been urging CMS to provide more transparency about the agency’s expectations for shared space and to allow for flexibility where needed and appropriate, especially for rural areas where hospitals may have visiting specialists.

“We continue to appreciate CMS’s openness to hearing our concerns,” says Nancy Foster, AHA vice president for quality and patient safety policy. “We have asked CMS to make this guidance a priority and to align their policies as much as possible with the agency’s broader mission to promote coordinated, patient-centered care across the continuum.”

ASHE named a 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year

The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) has been named a 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Energy Efficiency Program Delivery Award winner.

ASHE was recognized for its resources and programs specifically tailored for hospitals that address their unique energy needs regarding how to efficiently run an around-the-clock operation and support energy-intensive medical equipment in a sustainable way without sacrificing the quality of patient care.

ASHE’s work in health care energy efficiency include its free Energy to Care benchmarking and awards program, the Sustainability Roadmap for Hospitals, and various challengesawards, and publications to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability. The group’s efforts have contributed to increased efficiency in hospitals across the country:

  • More than 2,100 facilities participate in the Energy to Care program.
  • Energy savings have topped a total of more than $127 million for hospitals in the Energy to Care program.
  • Twenty-nine hospitals reduced consumption by 10 percent in a single year and earned a 2016 Energy to Care Award — an increase of 25 percent from the year before. 
  • A total of 194 facilities in Energy to Care now have an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or greater, a 75 percent increase from 2010. 

ASHE’s accomplishments will be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. on April 26, 2017.

FGI updates design guide for behavioral health facilities

The Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) has updated its Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities.

The guide expounds on FGI’s Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities by providing more detail and best practices for protecting patients and staff.

The guide is co-authored by James M. Hunt, AIA, NCARP, president of Behavioral Health Facility Consulting, and David M. Sine, ARM, CSP, CPHRM, president of SafetyLogic Systems.

NIOSH requests feedback on storing health care PPE

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is requesting information regarding facilities that stockpile N95 respirators and Level 3 and Level 4 protective surgical gowns.

Specifically, NIOSH is seeking information about personal protective equipment (PPE) environmental storage conditions and inventory for federal, city, state, municipal, county and hospital system stockpiles.

Questions for which NIOSH is requesting feedback include what environmental controls are implemented for the stockpiled PPE, whether or not N95 respirators and Level 3 and Level 4 protective surgical gowns are monitored for deterioration, and if PPE products are being rotated.