AHRQ-Funded Articles Find Little to No Impact of CMS Policy on Healthcare-Associated Infections
Two recent articles in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology examined the impact of Medicare’s policies on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and associated billing. The articles, funded by AHRQ, scrutinized the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2008 policies that ended additional payments to hospitals for the costs of care associated with certain “preventable events,” sometimes known as hospital-acquired conditions, including specific HAIs contracted during hospitalization. One paper, “Impact of Medicare’s Hospital-Acquired Condition Policy on Infections in Safety Net and Non–Safety Net Hospitals,” found that the policy had no impact on rates of central line-associated bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia in hospitals, which were already declining. The paper andabstract were published in June. The other study, “Impact of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital-Acquired Conditions Policy on Billing Rates for 2 Targeted Healthcare-Associated Infections,” published with an abstract in April, found that there was an immediate drop in billing rates followed by a slight downward trend for two other HAIs, vascular catheter-associated infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections, following implementation of the CMS policy.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2015 Jun;36(6):649-55. doi: 10.1017/ice.2015.38. Epub 2015 Mar 3.
Impact of Medicare's Hospital-Acquired Condition Policy on Infections in Safety Net and Non-Safety Net Hospitals.
Vaz LE1, Kleinman KP2, Kawai AT2, Jin R2, Kassler WJ3, Grant PS4, Rett MD2, Goldmann DA5, Calderwood MS2, Soumerai SB2, Lee GM2.
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