CMS Issues Revised Guidance on F Tag 441-Laundry and Infection Control

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In a January 25th Memo to State Survey Agencies (S&C: 13-09-NH), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) clarified and revised guidance to surveyors in Appendix PP of the SOM (State Operations Manual) regarding citations under F Tag 441, Infection Control.  The memo addresses laundry detergents with and without antimicrobial claims, use of chlorine bleach rinses, water temperatures during the process of washing laundry, maintenance of laundry equipment and laundry items, and ozone laundry cleaning systems.

Because current interpretive guidance does not address recent changes in manufacturer’s technology for laundry equipment and cleaning agents, questions related to infection control and laundry processing have emerged.  In the process of responding to some of these questions, CMS determined the need to update the guidance in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address improvements in technology utilized in laundry processing.  The updates complement other guidance within the SOM under Handling Linens to Prevent and Control Infection TransmissionThe guidance is effective immediately.