Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HAI related provisions in the new health care reform bill

There has been a lot of buzz (and confusion) about the 1,000-page long health care reform bill that was signed into law in March by President Obama. Over the weekend, I challenged myself to read the entire bill and after failing to make it past the Table of Contents, I decided to read only the parts relevant to the prevention of HAIs.

The bill has several provisions on the public reporting of HAIs. Below is a summary:
  • Beginning in October 2012, non rural-acute care hospitals that meet or exceed federal performance standards for at least five measures, including certain HAIs, will receive higher Medicare payments [HR 3590, Title III, Subtitle A, Sec 3001, p. 235]
  • Beginning in October 2012, hospitals with high readmission rates for patients, including readmissions due to HAIs, will have their Medicare payment reduced [HR3590, Title III, Subtitle A, Sec 3205, p.290]
  • Beginning in 2014, the federal government will reduce Medicare payments by 1% for those hospitals in the top quartile for hospital-acquired conditions, including certain HAIs [HR 3590, Title III, Subtitle A, Sec 3008, p.258]
  • Beginning in 2014, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department will report, on its Hospital Compare website, each hospital’s record for medical errors and infections involving Medicare patients [HR 3590, Title III, Subtitle A, Sec 3008, p.258]

On a side note, there is a funny YouTube video on health care executives’ response to the bill.

Full text of bill

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