A study by researchers at University of Michigan, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that Medicare policy to withhold payments for catheter-associated urinary tract infections during hospital stays rarely changed payment. ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Aiming to cut expenses and improve care, a 2008 Medicare policy stopped paying hospitals extra to treat some preventable, hospital-acquired conditions – including urinary tract infections (UTIs) in patients after bladder catheters are placed. But the statewide analysis by the University of Michigan shows there was very little change in hospital payment due to removing pay for hospital-acquired catheter-associated UTIs. For all adult hospital stays in Michigan in 2009, eliminating payment for this infection decreased hospital pay for only 25 hospital stays (0.003 percent of all stays). This is in great contrast to the large savings anticipated, given that this condition accounts for nearly one third of all hospital-acquired infections. The reason, U-M authors say, is that the “no-pay” policy uses billing data that is inaccurate for identifying such complications.
Study finds common hospital-acquired infection rarely reported in the dataset used to implement hospital penalties
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