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Tag: Maya Sequeira

Medicare Policy Might Discourage Proper Care for Hospital-Acquired Infections

Medicare’s recent policy of refusing to pay hospitals’ additional costs to treat hospital-acquired infections fails to adequately incentivize prevention and proper treatment of these complications, associated with 99,000 deaths annually. A recent analysis by Peter McNair and colleagues in the journal Health Affairs suggests that, in the entire state of California, only 11 hospitalizations complicated by infection would have received lower reimbursement as a result of the policy if it had been in place in 2006.The Medicare policy focuses on infections that have low mortality, such as catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and infections that affect few people, such as mediastinitis after CABG surgery. This means that the vast majority of severe hospital-acquired infections remain completely unregulated.

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