In “Infection Control Deficiencies Were Widespread and Persistent in Nursing Homes Prior to COVID-19 Pandemic,” the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that 82% of nursing facilities nationwide were cited with infection control deficiencies in one or more years between 2013 and 2017, with 48% of facilities cited in multiple years during the five-year period. Moreover, for 99% of these deficiencies, which were cited by surveyors as not causing residents any harm, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) did not impose any financial penalty. The GAO also reports that infection control deficiencies were more common in for-profit nursing facilities and that facilities with overall ratings of five stars on CMS’s five-star rating system had fewer infection control deficiencies.
The GAO plans “to examine CMS guidance and oversight of infection prevention and control in a future GAO report, including the classification of infection prevention and control deficiencies.”
 GAO-20-576R (May 20, 2020), https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/707069.pdf. to examine CMS guidance and oversight of infection prevention and control in a future GAO report, including the classification of infection prevention and control deficiencies.