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Infection Control and Emergency Preparedness at Dialysis Centers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

CDC has stated that beneficiaries with serious underlying medical conditions, such as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Regardless of the current pandemic, dialysis patients are at high risk of infection because of weakened immune systems, coexisting conditions such as diabetes, and treatments requiring frequent use of catheters or insertions of needles to access the bloodstream. ESRD facility conditions for coverage regarding infection control and emergency preparedness are defined in 42 CFR 494 Subpart B. On March 30, 2020, CMS issued a revised memorandum providing guidance for infection control and prevention of COVID-19 in dialysis facilities. We will interview corporate officers from the three ESRD service companies covering more than 75 percent of CY 2018 Medicare reimbursements and 71 percent of dialysis clinics. Our objective is to determine whether ESRD facilities implemented additional infection control and emergency preparedness procedures in accordance with CMS and CDC guidance to safeguard high risk ESRD beneficiaries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
Completed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Infection Control and Emergency Preparedness at Dialysis Centers During the COVID-19 Pandemic Office of Audit Services W-00-20-35852;