CMS: Facilities must develop and adhere to policies to prevent Legionella

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updated its requirement that says CMS-participating facilities must develop and adhere to policies designed to reduce Legionella risk. The update clarifies the type of providers that must comply with the requirement. CMS says the rule applies to hospitals, critical access hospitals and long-term care facilities.

The memo states that surveyors will review policies, procedures and reports documenting water-management implementation results to verify that facilities are conducting facility risk assessments; implementing a water-management program that considers standards from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and specifying testing protocols and control measures. 

HHS issues alert on Microsoft cyber vulnerabilities, 'Hidden Cobra' threat

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Microsoft are alerting the information technology community to vulnerabilities within Microsoft products, including the Windows operating system. A threat called “Hidden Cobra” is similar to the WannaCry ransomware that affected various systems last month. DHS states targets of the malware include “the media, aerospace, financial and critical infrastructure sectors in the U.S. and globally.

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) notified the health care and public health sectors as these sectors may be threatened as well. HHS issued a report regarding the business impact of a cyberattack and suggested safeguards.

Scientists, medical professionals urge stricter limits on antibacterial agents

More than 200 scientists and medical professionals are calling for stricter limits on antibacterial chemicals added to products such as hand sanitizers.

The Food and Drug Administration last year banned triclosan, triclocarban and 16 other anitimicrobials used in soaps. Scientists and medical professionals in a joint statement urged the FDA to closely review the safety of replacement chemicals, such as benzalkonium chloride.

FDA unveils list of reusable devices requiring new validation data

The Food and Drug Administration released a list of devices that it will require to produce validated instruction for use and validation data regarding cleaning, disinfection and sterilization prior to going to market.

The list is the result of the 21st Century Cures Act, and includes reusable devices that it has determined “pose a greater likelihood of microbial transmission and represent a high risk of infection (subclinical or clinical) if they are not adequately reprocessed.”