October 2, 2014

CMS Offers Waiver on Power Strips in Patient Areas

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is permitting a categorical waiver related to hospital power strip requirements under certain circumstances, the agency recently announced. The waiver allows hospitals to adhere to the 2012 power strip requirements of the National Fire Protection Association instead of the NFPA's 1999 standards. Hospitals can use the waiver if they are in compliance with all applicable power strip requirements contained in the 2012 edition of the NFPA's Life Safety Code and all electrical system and equipment provisions in the 2000 edition of the NFPA's LSC. To use the waiver, hospitals must have written documentation that they have chosen to do so. A hospital must notify the LSC survey team at the entrance conference that it will elect to use the waiver permitted under this guidance and that it meets the applicable waiver requirements. Surveyors will review the information and confirm the facility meets the conditions for the waiver. The policy change takes effect immediately. (Courtesy of the American Hospital Association)