Our leaders in Congress experience medical harm, too. On Monday, Politico reported that Pennsylvania U.S. Congressman John Murtha had died as a result of complications from recent gallbladder removal surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
In 140 characters on Twitter, I asked a serious question about hospital-acquired infections.
Our message caught on! A coalition of House Democrats have included public reporting of hospital-acquired infections in their reform bill (HR 3200), and reducing payment to hospitals that aren’t doing enough to prevent infections.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced last Thursday that it has added readmission rates for more than 4,000 hospitals across the U.S to its Hospital Compare website. With proper care, most people should not have to go back to the hospital shortly after release. This is a key indicator of quality and varies a lot between hospitals.
Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, tells hospitals to take “basic steps to fight infections” that harm millions of patients every year and add billions to our nation’s health care costs.
It’s official. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will no longer pay for surgery in which certain “never events” occur: wrong surgery, wrong patient, wrong body part.
This week the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released its “Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections” which sets five-year prevention targets for six major types of infection. Such as (from Table 1):
• A 30% reduction in C. difficile
• A 25% reduction in urinary catheter infections
• A 50% reduction in MRSA infections
The New York Times came out Sunday with a strong call for making the new Medicare rule to stop paying for care needed after hospitals harm their patients apply to physicians too, stating the current policy lets “doctors off scot-free.”
Effective today, Medicare will stop compensating hospitals for the additional costs to treat patients who suffered from certain preventable infections and errors due to bad medical care.