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And Then There Was F-441

2009 was a busy year for tag F-441. On September 30, tags F-441, F-442, F-443, F-444 and F-445 were rolled into a single tag, F-441. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the rationale for combining the tags was to "bring everything that relates to infection control into one location to best utilize the surveyors' time and resources."1 Revisions to tag F-441 have since been made on November 30 and December 2.

Because of these recent changes, it stands to reason that F-441 will take its place at the height of the survey process. Is your facility ready?

The human and financial costs of infections

CMS estimates that infections account for up to half of all nursing home transfers to hospitals. These hospital admissions cost between $673 million and $2 billion annually. When nursing home residents are hospitalized with an infection as a primary diagnosis, their death rate can be as high as 40 percent.1

According to CMS data, the average nursing home resident experiences 1.6 to 3.8 infections annually. The most common infections in nursing homes are urinary tract, respiratory (e.g., pneumonia and bronchitis) and skin and soft tissue infections (such as pressure ulcers). Conjunctivitis, gastroenteritis and influenza are also common.1

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