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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Book/Report

Infection Control Deficiencies Were Widespread and Persistent in Nursing Homes Prior to COVID-19 Pandemic.

Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; May 20, 2020. Publication GAO-20-576R.   

This US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report highlights the chronic shortfalls in nursing home infection control programs. The GAO analyzed survey data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and found 82% (13,299) of nursing homes surveyed were cited in one or more years between 2013-2017 and in each individual year, 40% of nursing homes had infection control and prevention deficiencies that continued through 2018 and 2019.  While the majority of the citations did not indicate harm to nursing home residents and were rarely associated with enforcement actions, the GAO intends to examine CMS oversight of infection and control in the near future.  In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, these findings are particularly concerning.