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Re-testing for TB after 1 week hospital stay

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I work in a SNF/Long-term care facility. If a resident is sent to the hospital for a week or more, they must be re-tested for TB upon return from the hospital. Many times a SNF resident who was tested 2 weeks ago for TB returns to the hospital for a week or more and returns to the facility. Is it required by CMS to re-test the resident upon return? Incubation for TB is 2-12 weeks so why test again after a short-stay (2 weeks or less) at the hospital? Any other facilities do this?

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CMS doesn't require that SNF residents be tested for TB after being in the hospital, so there is no timeframe defined by CMS for retesting. Testing is only indicated due to a known exposure or symptoms.

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Not sure on the specifics of the facility but you can certainly search CMS guidelines for payment and reimbursement. If they require it, it will be there. However, in most cases, SNFs and LTACH hospitals give the patient a TB test in order to be compliant by certain personal or private insurance. Also, it may be "out-dated" policy from the SNF itself. Often these are warranted because of high-risk to exposure depending on the area of the state or county. However, if your area is certified low-risk and CMS and private insurance doesn't require it, then the SNF should stop or change their policy.

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Post in the LTC forum for more answers. This is a great question. We do a two step PPD on all readmits.

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