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CMS Publishes Requirements to Reduce Legionella Risks in Healthcare Facility Water Systems

The building science professionals at Clark Seif Clark provide monitoring and consulting services to identify and mitigate Legionella exposure risks.

Chatsworth, CA – WEBWIRE

Modern distribution systems of treated municipal water have dramatically reduced waterborne illnesses, but this safety success lulls many into perilous complacency.

In June of last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a survey and certification memo stating requirements for healthcare facilities to develop and adhere to ASHRAE-compliant water management programs to reduce the risk for Legionella and other water-related pathogens.
Exposure to the bacterium Legionella can result in Legionnaires’ disease (LD) or Pontiac fever. The CMS memo reveals, “Those at risk include persons who are at least 50 years old, smokers, or those with underlying medical conditions such as chronic lung disease or immunosuppression. Outbreaks have been linked to poorly maintained water systems in buildings with large or complex water systems including hospitals and long-term care facilities. Transmission can occur via aerosols from devices such as showerheads, cooling towers, hot tubs, and decorative fountains.”
The policy memorandum applies to hospitals, critical access hospitals (CAHs) and long-term care facilities. CMS reports that the document is also intended to provide general awareness for all healthcare organizations.
“Modern distribution systems of treated municipal water have dramatically reduced waterborne illnesses, but this safety success lulls many into perilous complacency,” said Derrick A. Denis, Vice President of Indoor Environmental Quality of Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “A building’s water treatment, storage and distribution infrastructure is often out-of-site and out-of-mind for many owners, property managers and facility administrators.  Without deliberate and consistent water management programs to maintain and assess water systems, occupant health (particularly susceptible populations) is placed at an avoidable risk from opportunistic waterborne pathogens such as Legionella, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Burkholderia, Stenotrophomonas, nontuberculous mycobacteria and fungi that can grow and spread in a facility’s water systems.”
Helping healthcare providers meet these requirements and protect the health and safety of their patients are the microbial pathogen and building science professionals at Clark Seif Clark. Their experts develop, administer, monitor and test water management programs in healthcare facilities and other sensitive environments to comply with CMS requirements.
To learn more about the new CMS Legionella and water management program requirements or other environmental, indoor air quality, occupational, health and safety services, please visit, email or call (800) 807-1118. 
About Clark Seif Clark
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address indoor air quality (IAQ) and environmental, health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.

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 Legionnaires’ disease

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