Is Your Antibiotic Stewardship Program Ready for Prime Time?

By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - February 11, 2020

Through the first four months of fiscal year (FY) 2020, F881 (Antibiotic Stewardship Program) is the 46th most cited F-tag nationwide. That’s up from 49th overall in FY 2019, according to the Quality, Certification, and Oversight Reports (QCOR) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This possibly increased scrutiny occurred as CMS issued the November 22, 2019, Quality, Safety, and Oversight (QSO) memo QSO-20-03-NH, which highlighted the importance of antibiotic stewardship programs and announced a new training, Development of an Antibiotic Stewardship Program for Nursing Home Providers, and a new resource list to support antibiotic stewardship compliance as part of a package of actions designed to assist nursing homes to improve their entire infection prevention and control program.


“The requirement for nursing homes to have an antibiotic stewardship program that includes antibiotic use protocols, a system to monitor antibiotic use, and education for prescribers, residents/representatives, and nursing staff—and that is reviewed annually and as needed—became effective on November 28, 2017, as part of the Phase 2 rollout of the revised Medicare/Medicaid requirements of participation,” says Deb Patterson Burdsall, PhD, RN-BC, CIC, FAPIC, an infection prevention and control consultant and faculty member at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) in Arlington, VA.