CMS loosens nursing home infection control guidance for single-use devices

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Nursing homes now have new guidance about using certain types of reprocessed medical devices, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced.*

To prevent the spread of infections, federal guidance has directed nursing homes to only use brand-new single-use medical devices (SUDs), such as endoscopes or blood pressure cuffs. However, long-term care facilities can purchase used SUDs that have been sterilized and repackaged through a party authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, according to a CMS memorandum issued Friday.

Nursing homes that purchase reprocessed instruments will have to obtain documentation showing that the third-party reprocessor has been cleared by the FDA, the memo states.

Expanding the use of reprocessed devices could lead to cost savings for providers and reduce medical waste, according to the FDA.

*Editor's Note: This article originally stated that CMS updated regulations. The article has been updated to reflect that the agency has in fact changed its interpretive guidance.

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