TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, DIVISION OF PUBLIC HEALTH, TO ESTABLISH A HEALTHCARE-ASSOCIATED INFECTION SURVEILLANCE, PREVENTION, AND CONTROL PROGRAM, TO ESTABLISH A REGULATORY FEE FOR THE PROGRAM, AND TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT TO ASSESS AN ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY AGAINST HEALTH CARE FACILITIES THAT FAIL TO COMPLY WITH PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS.
Adds new Part 1A to Article 6 of GS Chapter 130A to create a new 13-member Heathcare-Associated Infections Advisory Committee (Committee) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Directs Committee to study and make recommendations concerning a variety of issues relating to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), including the reporting of HAIs, the prevention of HAIs, the appropriate HAI training for medical professionals, and the evaluation of medical facility HAI-procedures. Directs HHS to create new HAI Surveillance, Prevention and Control Program to monitor and implement HAI best practices across the state. Mandates public reporting of HAI statistics. Requires health care facilities to take a variety of control measures relating to HAIs, including the appointment of an infection control officer and requiring training on HAI prevention for all staff. Requires health care facilities to test patients for methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) up to 10 days prior to an elective admission or within 24 hours for certain high-risk cases and to provide each patient who tests positive with information regarding MRSAs. Requires quarterly and monthly reporting of HAI statistics by health care facilities. Requires health insurers to provide coverage for routine HAI screenings performed in compliance with health care facilities’ infection control plans. Requires HHS to offer quality improvement payments to health care facilties that achieve certain metrics relating to HAIs. Requires health care facilties to develop written infection control policies. Provides for the creation of a licensing fee surcharge to support the regulatory activities required by this act, which must not exceed $5,000 in the aggregate from all health care facilties. Permits HHS to impose a $1,000 penalty per incident on any health care facility that negligently fails to report an HAI as required, for which each day of a continuing violation must constitute a separate offense. Effective January 1, 2012.
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