Medicare Does Not Track Costly Hospital Infections

According to a new analysis by Premier, Inc., Medicare does not track “several expensive , frequently occurring” hospital complications. Premier, Inc. analyzed more than 5 million hospital records and determined that 86 common complications correlated with higher costs, longer lengths of stays or patient deaths. Researchers also determined that these conditions occurred more frequently than many on the list of hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) that Medicare uses to set payments for hospitals. The analysis suggests that hospitals identify non-Medicare complications and improve conditions by expanding hospitals’ ability to “identify, and then address, care processes that may lead to or contribute to complications,” analyze which hospitals do and don’t do well on a wider range of quality measures, and help hospitals “analyze the impact of specific complications on measures like length of stay and cost.”

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