Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced sweeping reforms affecting nursing homes nationwide. Part of those reforms now mandates the reform of antibiotic use in nursing homes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an overwhelming percentage (70%) of nursing home residents receive at least one course of antibiotics each year. Some receive more.
David Hyun, MD, who is a senior officer with the Pew Charitable Trust’s antibiotic resistance project says that anywhere from 40% to 70% of the treatments are unwarranted. The feat is that these could lead to residents developing drug-resistant infections.
That fact, along with high rates of infection, has brought about concerns that nursing homes are becoming bastions of multidrug-resistant bacteria in the medical community. Since long-term care residents frequently get transferred to acute-care facilities, those bugs can spread into healthcare facilities.
In 2015, the CDC released a set of recommendations to combat this issue. The recommendations included getting commitments from nursing home leadership to improve the prescribing of antibiotics, experts who will be responsible for antibiotic stewardship, and monitoring the use of antibiotics and outcomes.
It will be a challenging reform to implement. Requiring financial resources, antibiotic stewardship expertise, and diagnostic and support services that are already scarce. The new regulations will bring hundreds of millions of dollars in new costs. Yet, there will not be any new streams of funding that cost.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect while in the care of a nursing facility, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the law offices of Schenk Smith. We may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.