Physicians: Review new guidelines for diagnosing and treating community-acquired pneumonia

February 10, 2020
Medicare Web

The American Thoracic Society and Infectious Diseases Society of America recently published guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of adults with community-acquired pneumonia. The updated guidelines are an attempt to better identify patients at risk for pneumonias due to multidrug-resistant bacteria such as Gram-negative rods and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The 2020 guidelines state that healthcare-associated pneumonia is no longer a risk factor for multidrug-resistant bacteria. Therefore, admissions from skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, dialysis units, home health receiving wound care, etc. are not by themselves sufficient criteria to clinically support a diagnosis of Gram-negative pneumonia in the absence of bacteriological confirmation of a specific organism.

The new guidelines emphasize the importance of reviewing encounters for these pneumonias prior to admission to delineate if the patient was hospitalized and/or used parenteral antibiotics within the past 90 days. Additionally, according to the guidelines, physicians should scrutinize records for community-acquired pneumonias submitted in the last year for documentation of a previous infection with Gram-negative rods or MRSA.

The criteria for the clinical validation of Gram-negative and MRSA pneumonia are outlined in the guidelines.