HHS shuts down MI infection-control program

Generally speaking, one would think that HHS would be in favor of having hospitals roll out simple, effective infection control programs--particularly given that CMS will soon stop paying to treat several common ones. However, in Michigan, it appears that's not the case. HHS has shut down an infection-control program in place in ICUs across the state, arguing that it violated patient informed-consent regs, as it believes the protocol is an experimental treatment. However, it's hard to imagine how such restrictions apply to this program, a five-step approach developed by a Johns Hopkins faculty member which includes such basics as wearing sterile gloves and gowns prior to inserting IVs and washing hands. Prior to getting the no-go from the HHS office for Human Research Protection, Johns Hopkins was planning to expand the program to New Jersey and Rhode Island. Now, advocates from various stakeholder groups (as well as Johns Hopkins) are beseeching HHS to rethink its policy. While I'll admit I don't have all of the data, as things stand, I'm really at a loss as to how HHS is justifying this move.

To find out more about the conflict:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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