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Growing Concern of ICU Infections

It is estimated that about one in 20 hospitalized patients get an infection, resulting in up to $33 billion in additional costs each year, according to researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A Medicare payment policy designed to push hospitals to cut their infection rates has had no effect in reducing bloodstream infections and urinary tract infections associate with the use of central lines or catheters among patient in intensive care units.

In 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began denying additional payments to hospitals whose patients became sicker as a result of these two types of preventable infections.

"The financial penalty did not further reduce infection rates, which were already going down because of multitude of (infection control) campaigns and interventions that were already ongoing," said the study's lead author Grace Lee, associate professor, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School.

Efforts to reduce the rate of infections include public reporting requirements and the payment policy in Medicare, which is now being expanded into state Medicaid programs. Read the full details here:

Denying payments for some hospital infections doesn't cut rates, study finds

Thousands of patients die due to medical malpractice in hospitals each year.  These cases involve hospital acquired infections, failure to diagnose, birth trauma and birth injuries and medication errors.  If you or someone you know suffered from medical malpractice in a hospital, please call the professionals at Crandall & Pera Law for a consultation.

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