The Quality Digest

October 2022 Edition

October 6, 2022

Infection Prevention and Control Program Audits

Infection control remains the number one tag cited for skilled nursing facilities. To help facilities avoid potential penalties, PharMerica has launched an Infection Prevention and Control Program Audit, in which our Nurse Consultants offer targeted reviews on site. 

Read More

CMS Update “Compliance Cues” Now Available

In June, CMS released Phase 3 updated guidance for nursing home surveyors as part of the Phase 2 and 3 Requirements of Participation. Surveyors will begin using this guidance to identify noncompliance on October 24, 2022. Our clinical staff has created a series of Compliance Cues for specific, pharmacy-related F-tags:

Overview of Pharmacy-Related Updates

Fentanyl Patch Disposal

Gradual Dose Reduction

Unnecessary Psychotropic/PRN Use

Unnecessary Antibiotic Use

Misdiagnosis Related to Antipsychotics

Psychosocial Harm Evaluation

Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Schedules

The CDC has released updated COVID-19 vaccine schedules that include the recently authorized bivalent boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. There are two schedules: one for individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and another for those who are not.

Read More

Expanded FDA Approval of Orkambi to Treat Cystic Fibrosis 

On September 2, 2022, Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced FDA approval for the expanded use of Orkambi (lumacaftor/ivacaftor) to treat cystic fibrosis in children 12 months to <24 months of age who are homozygous for the F508del mutation. This drug was previously approved for use in children 2 years and older. With this approval, an additional 300 patients will be eligible for Orkambi treatment.

Read More

Regulatory Updates

Termination of CMS Emergency Declaration Waivers

On August 29, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a revised memo terminating specific emergency declaration blanket waivers for SNFs, inpatient hospices, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with I/DD. 

Read More

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars on CMS Updates & Impact:

Tuesday, October 4: Infection Control, Pharmacy Services, Quality of Life, and Physician Services

Presented by:


and Janis Russell, PharmD, MBA, Manager Clinical Operations, PharMerica

Tuesday, October 11: QAPI, Compliance and Ethics Program, Physical Environment, and Nursing Services

Presented by: Nancy Tuders, RN, GERO-BC, IP-BC, CDONA,

and Rebecca Wingate, PharmD, Director of Clinical Operations, PharMerica

Tuesday, October 18: Behavioral Health Services and Food and Nutrition*

Presented by: Linda Savage, MSN, RN, RN-BC, NHA, CPHRM CDONA, SWOC,

and Marti Wdowicki, PharmD, Director of Clinical Operations, PharMerica

All webinars will take place at 1pm ET / 12pm CT and have

been approved for 1 CEU for NAB and nursing credit.

*This webinar has been submitted for CE credit with NAB/NCERS.

In episode 2 of this two-part Spoonful of Sugar podcast, “Rising Costs and the Need for Growth,” industry legend Robert G. Kramer will discuss how and why operators must grow to succeed. He’ll address influencers that support growth and expansion moving forward — and how facilities can take advantage to improve care, occupancy, and the bottom line.

Listen Now