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About the CMS Directive
REQUIREMENT TO REDUCE LEGIONELLA RISK IN HEALTHCARE FACILITY WATER SYSTEMS TO PREVENT CASES AND OUTBREAKS OF LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE.
Effective June, 2017, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a directive requiring healthcare facilities to develop and adhere to policies and procedures that inhibit microbial growth in building water systems in order to reduce the risk of growth and spread of Legionella and other opportunistic pathogens in building water systems.
LEGIONELLA AND LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause a severe, often lethal form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease in persons at risk. Within the last decade, Legionnaires’ disease has been reported throughout the world. Outbreaks have been linked to buildings with large or complex water systems that are improperly maintained. The potable water systems of hospitals, nursing homes, and other large or long-term care facilities are major sources of Legionella. It is most often found in hot water tanks and heaters, large plumbing systems, faucets and showers, hot tubs, whirlpool spas, decorative fountains and water features, and cooling towers (air conditioning units).