CMS finalizing Rural Emergency Hospital rules

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) anticipates that Conditions of Participation for the new Rural Emergency Hospitals (REHs) designation will be finalized this fall. CMS says this new provider type, effective Jan. 1, 2023, will promote equity in health care for those living in rural communities by facilitating access to needed services. The REH designation was established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to address the growing concern over closures of rural hospitals. The final rules will include several life safety and other physical environment requirements. 

CDC updates monkeypox guidance

Guidance updates on infection prevention and control of monkeypox in health care facilities from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include more detail on waste management and align with the Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) guidance on waste management for monkeypox patients. Guidance varies depending on the strain of monkeypox being treated. For instance, waste contaminated with the West African clade should be managed as UN3291, Regulated Medical Waste as defined by DOT, while the Congo Basin clade is classified as DOT Category A under Hazardous Materials Regulations. In addition to waste management, the CDC guidance covers personal protective equipment usage, environmental infection control and managing exposure to health care personnel.

IAHSS releases guideline for body worn cameras 

The International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) Council on Guidelines announced the new Healthcare Security Industry Guideline 02.10, Body Worn Cameras in the Healthcare Security Program, last month. The new guideline includes a definition of body worn cameras, considerations for who should be on a multidisciplinary decision-making team, and suggested legal research that should be factored into the decision-making process. It also includes guidance on policy and procedure surrounding training, and usage and retention of captured audio and video. The guideline can be found published online and is free for IAHSS members. 

HHS declares monkeypox a public health emergency

With growth in the number of U.S. monkeypox cases, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra last month declared the outbreak a public health emergency. “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus,” Becerra said in announcing the action. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D., says the declaration will provide access to resources and flexibilities, expedite state data sharing, and provide more detailed data on testing and hospitalizations. The World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus previously declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern, and recommended governments take certain steps to strengthen and coordinate the global response.