Advice from the BP Measurement Experts
Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) are one of the hottest topics in healthcare right now. Over 2,000,000 patients in the United States acquire HAIs, which adds an average of 8 days to the hospital stay and causes approximately 99,000 deaths per year.6 The total annual cost to treat these HAIs in the United States is between $35.7 billion and $45 billion with the average in hospital cost per patient between $20,549 and $25,903.7
"According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, this would result in an average penalty of $208,643."Although hospitals are making strides to reduce the risks of HAIs, the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010 has pushed this focus into high gear. The PPACA has specific patient protection provisions aimed at reducing HAIs throughout acute-care hospitals. First, the new law has financial penalties for hospitals with the highest rates of HAIs. For Medicare payments, there is a 1% cut across the board in Medicare payments to hospitals in the top quartile of national HAI rates starting in 2015. According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, this would result in an average penalty of $208,643.10 Starting July 1, 2012, Medicaid is prohibiting payments to hospitals for specific HAIs stated in the Medicaid policy. Second, the new law requires mandatory public reporting of HAI rates for all hospitals. Public reporting of HAIs is a powerful tool in holding hospitals accountable for reducing HAI risks and keeping patients safe and improving the quality of care. Public reporting also encourages consumers and employers to choose high quality, low-cost care.
Although many hospital administrators worry they cannot afford to implement comprehensive infection control strategies, the truth is that hospitals cannot afford to do otherwise. Several studies have shown that reusable blood pressure cuffs are a major source of bacterial contamination and play a large role in the spread of HAIs in hospitals.1,2,3,4,5 Furthermore, disposable blood pressure cuffs have shown to be an effective approach to reducing the transmission of HAIs, when dedicated for single-patient use. 8,9
To show the potential costs savings of using disposable cuffs over reusable cuffs, SunTech has created a Disposable Cuff ROI Calculator. This calculator estimates the total costs of HAIs at a hospital from reusable cuffs and compares this cost to the total cost of dedicating a disposable cuff to each patient. Since it is the hospital’s responsibility to pay for HAIs that occur during a hospital stay, dedicating a disposable cuff to each patient will not only help reduce the spread of HAIs, it is an integral part of an effective infection control strategy and will help protect a hospital’s bottom line.