To stop hospital infections, tighten purse strings

June 25, 2007

CMS' proposal to limit payments to hospitals for nosocomial infections has won the support of Consumers Union.

CMS' proposal to limit payments to hospitals for nosocomial infections has won the support of Consumers Union. The publisher of Consumer Reports said reimbursement to hospitals should be restricted for certain infections acquired in the hospital, such as urinary tract infections, S. aureus bloodstream infections, and four other medical errors unrelated to infections (bed sores, objects left in patients' bodies, blood incompatibility, and air embolism). Consumers Union believes that if the government put its money where its mouth is, hospitals would take action to reduce infections. CMS' proposal was covered in "Medicare Program: Proposed Changes to the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems and Fiscal Year 2008 Rates." CMS had evaluated 13 healthcare-acquired conditions and identified these six for the first round of nonpayment because they involve a high volume of patients, high costs, or both. If passed, the rules take effect in October 2008.

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