Report examines cost of community violence on health care security, other operations

Community violence cost U.S. hospitals and health systems an estimated $2.7 billion in 2016, according to a new report from the American Hospital Association (AHA).

Specifically, the authors found that hospitals and health systems spent $1.1 billion on security and training to prevent violence in hospitals; $852 million caring for victims of violence; $429 million on medical care, staffing, indemnity and other costs related to violence against hospital employees; and $280 million on preparedness and prevention of community violence.

“Keeping people healthy is at the heart of health care, and violence runs counter to that,” says AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “It's our hope that quantifying the resources hospitals and health systems commit illustrates the enormity of this issue as a public health problem while giving hospitals the chance to highlight their efforts to keep their communities and workplaces safer.”

For more on the report, visit the AHA’s Hospitals Against Violence resource page on violence prevention.

CMS issues memo for fire- and smoke-door testing requirements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a new memo related to fire- and smoke-door annual testing requirements in health care occupancies. CMS states that fire-door assemblies have to be inspected and tested annually in accordance with National Fire Protection Association 80: Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives. Non-rated doors and assemblies, however, are not subject to these requirements, but should be routinely inspected as part of a facility's maintenance program. 

Full compliance with the 2010 edition of NFPA 80 is required by Jan. 1.

ASHRAE seeks comment on health care ventilation standard

ASHRAE is holding a second public review period for Addendum n to the 2013 edition of ASHRAE 170: Ventilation of Health Care Facilities. Addendum n begins the process of reorganizing the standard into three components: hospital, outpatient and residential health. ASHRAE states that the addendum will not create additional requirements, but will help to eliminate confusion about which requirements apply to which occupancies.

The public can review the proposed addendum and submit comments online. Comments are due Sept. 11.

HHS revamps tool for reporting health care information breaches

The Department of Health & Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR) launched a revised web tool with improved ease of use for organizations that report health information breaching incidents. The HIPAA Breach Reporting Tool also features improved navigation for those looking for information on breaches.  

The tool also helps to educate the health care field on the types of breaches that are occurring, industrywide or within particular sectors, and how breaches are commonly resolved following investigations launched by the OCR.