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CMS Issues Memo on Violence, Safety Risk Requirements in Hospitals

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a memo on violence and safety risks in hospitals, reminding hospitals of their regulatory obligation to prioritize the safety of patients and hospital staff to ensure the effective delivery of care. 

As part of Medicare’s Conditions of Participation, hospitals are required to identify patients at risk of harming themselves or others; identify environmental safety risks (e.g., ligatures, sharps, access to medications, breakable windows, light fixtures, plastic bags, and oxygen tubing); and ensure adequate training, sufficient staffing levels and appropriate risk assessment strategies and implementation. Notably, the guidance does not establish any new requirements for hospitals.  

CMS has cited hospitals for failing to meet these obligations.