PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
December 21, 2015

Cathleen D. Bennett
Acting Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

New Jersey Department of Health Proposes to Readopt with Amendments Rules Governing Health Care Facility Infection Reporting at N.J.A.C. 8:56

The Office of Health Care Quality Assessment in the Policy and Strategic Planning Branch of the New Jersey Department of Health (Department) is proposing to readopt with amendments the rules governing Health Care Facility Infection Reporting at N.J.A.C. 8:56. The proposed rulemaking regulates the process through which health care facilities submit healthcare-associated infection (HAI) data to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and the process through which health care facilities grant access to such data to the Department.

The Department has reviewed the rules of this chapter and has determined this readoption with amendments is necessary, reasonable, and proper to maintain the regulatory framework for HAI reporting by health care facilities. N.J.S.A. 26:2H-12.43 requires the Department to make this information available to the public in the Hospital Performance Report and in such a manner as to enable comparison among hospitals.

The Department proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 8:56-1.2 to add a definition for “confer rights” in order to make proposed N.J.A.C. 8:56-2.6(e), which would refer to the “confer rights process,” through which health care facilities grant access to the Department to HAI data on the NHSN website, more readily understandable.

The Department proposes to add a definition for “device days” to clarify the meaning of this term of art that is used at N.J.A.C. 8:56-3.1(a)1.

The Department proposes to amend the definition of “identifying information” to include a patients’ Medicare number.

The Department proposes to add a new definition for “New Jersey State HAI Group,” which would define the group of Department employees who are authorized to access and work with HAI data. The Department proposes to add a new subsection at N.J.A.C. 8:56-2.6(e) that would require each health care facility to grant access to HAI data required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the New Jersey State HAI Group.

The Department proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 8:56-3.1(b)1ii to establish that the fee for obtaining a hard copy of the New Jersey Hospital Performance Report would be based on the fee calculation schedule used under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5.

N.J.A.C. 8:56-2.2(c) would continue to provide that HAI data from NHSN shall not be considered “government records” under the Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq., without change.

A notice of proposal appears in the December 21, 2015 issue of the New Jersey Register. Interested individuals may gain free on-line access to the New Jersey Administrative Code and the New Jersey Register at http://lexisnexis.com/njoal, courtesy of LexisNexis®.

The Department will accept written comments on the proposal during a period of public comment, which begins on December 21, 2015 and ends on March 4, 2016. For electronic submission, please go to https://nj.gov/health/legal/ecomments.shtml and follow instructions for filing an official comment no later than March 4, 2016.

Address regular U.S.P.S. mail to: Joy L. Lindo, Director, Office of Legal and Regulatory Compliance, New Jersey Department of Health, PO Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360: Address correspondence sent by Courier or Hand Delivery Service to: Joy L. Lindo, Director, Office of Legal and Regulatory Compliance, New Jersey Department of Health, 369 South Warren Street, Trenton, NJ 08608.

All hard copy correspondence must be marked as having been received by the carrier of record on or before March 4, 2016. The Department does not accept facsimiles as official comments on the notice of proposal.

Last Reviewed: 12/22/2015