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Study shows "Perverse" relationship between Hospital Safety and Hospital Profits


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6/11/2013
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According to Becker's Clinical Quality and Infection Control journal, "Central line-associated bloodstream infections may increase a hospital's margins, creating a disincentive to reduce these infections, according to a study in American Journal of Medical Quality.  Researchers compared the costs, reimbursements and margins for one Hawaii hospital and its payers for intensive care unit patients who developed a CLABSI with patients who did not develop a CLABSI. Here are the findings for the study period — January 2009 to December 2011:

•    The average hospital cost was $222,692 for CLABSI patients compared with $80,144 for the matched controls.
•    The average reimbursement was $259,433 for CLABSI patients compared with $72,543 for the matched controls.
•    The average margin was $54,906 for CLABSI patients compared with $6,506 for the matched controls.

While reducing CLABSIs would reduce hospitals' costs, it would also decrease their margins, "which creates a perverse incentive to have more line infections," the authors state. "An optimal reimbursement system must reward hospitals and payers for preventing harm rather than treating illness.""



Category: Medical Malpractice


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