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Why The Cost Of HAIs Are Eroding Your Profits, And What To Do About It

  
  
  
  
  

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Healthcare acquired infections (HAIs) exact a major financial toll on hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities. In addition to costing tens of thousands of dollars per patient, the federal government is now penalizing facilities that don't have comprehensive preventative measures in place to curb the spread of HAIs. You may be worried that you can't afford to implement effective new technologies for fighting healthcare-acquired infections, but the reality is that you can't afford not to.

Healthcare-Acquired Infections and Penalty Payments

Approximately 2 million HAI cases are reported in the United States each year, and each case has an average cost of just over $15,000. Thus, HAIs currently cost the healthcare system over $30 billion a year; with HAI rates rising, so too are these costs. 

In early 2013, the U.S. federal government introduced a program that implemented new reporting procedures and applied penalties to institutions with high infection rates. Under these new policies, healthcare facilities face stiff penalties in three key areas:

  • Infection reporting to the National Healthcare Safety Network
  • Value-based purchasing
  • HAI-related hospital readmissions

These penalties are calculated as a percentage of inpatient PPS reimbursement. Facilities with infection rates exceeding the acceptable threshold face a penalty of 2 percent of eligible Medicare reimbursements, while value-based purchasing and HAI-related readmissions are both penalized at rates of 1 percent. For a 250-bed hospital with annual Medicare reimbursements of $50 million, those penalties could add up to over $2 million. Factor in the cost of treating HAIs, and you're looking at costs and penalties totaling nearly $5 million!

This is only the beginning. These penalties will increase in severity as time goes on. For example, value-based purchasing penalties will increase to 1.5 percent by 2015, and HAI-related readmission penalties will rise to 3 percent. By 2015, healthcare facilities will also face an additional penalty for the bottom quartile of HAIs, which is slotted at 1.5 percent. Thus, HAIs that would have come in at about $5 million in costs and penalties in 2013 will cost $6.5 million by 2015. Now is the time to take action against the spread of HAIs.

Take Action Against Healthcare-Acquired Infections

Fortunately for facility administrators, directors of nursing and infection control specialists, there are a host of new technologies in infection control.  These new infection control technologies will keep infection rates low, improve the life of your patients and staff as well as to protect your facility from the penalties that are only getting worse.  

Some of these new infection control technologies include: 

Plasma 

Hand hygeine tracking systems

Dry ozone vapor systems

UV light

These new infection control technologies will continue to play a growing role in healthcare facilities across the country and the world. As penalties for infections increase and the ever aging "babyboomer" population enters into our healthcare system, it's imperative to find cost effective solutions to help reduce healthcare acquired infections.  

Has your facility started using any new technology to prevent infections?  Comment below. 

 

For more info on Novaerus, click here or call 813-304-2468


 

Comments

We remain with the problem of ES performing at a substandard level. It is indigenous to the culture. Are you devoting resources to educating these departments? Seems we can have the best technology but if the HCW's aren't cooperative, technology doesn't get used. I have actually seen EVS refuse to use the tools they have been given by their superiors due to their belief in the "old" traditional methods of lemon oil and comet. The 'old' methods of cleaning and disinfection being used is really a huge problem. Same usage of rags, mops etc. and the cross-contamination as a result. To have everyone washing, sanitizing their hands alone would help immensely. Facility sanitation is another link and the floor another. EVS takes this in a very cavalier way. They might get away with this in a hotel/motel but not a medical facility. They need to know the difference but alas they do not. Basic sanitation and cleaning compliance is not being achieved. This has to be a huge contributor, and if this is the case, it needs to begin at that level then progress forward. A non-technical mind has trouble comprehending solutions brought by technology. Bleach they understand. If it doesn't burn or take away your breath it can't be working is their moniker.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 30, 2013 4:25 PM by Art Pichierri
A group of doctors formed a company based in California called Steiros, LLC. Steiros is an infection control consulting company that has developed an infection control and prevention Algorithm (Steiros Algorithm®) that has been clinically proven to reduce hospital / institutional acquired infections by up to 90%.  
 
The Steiros Algorithm® is not complicated and the cost is budget neutral. By enhancing present cleaning practices and changing isolation methodologies with the Steiros-Algorithm®, facilities have an immediately hard and soft cost savings with a major reduction of infections.  
 
This is what the Hospitals should be doing to reduce infections. Steiros improves patient care, saves lives and reduces cost. 
 
You can get more information about Steiros atwww.steiros.com.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 13, 2013 4:54 PM by Peter
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