Costs of Health Care-Associated Infections: 9.8 Billion Annually in US

A study estimates that total annual costs for five major health care-associated infections (HAIs) were $9.8 billion, with surgical site infections contributing the most to overall costs, according to a report.

A study estimates that total annual costs for five major health care-associated infections (HAIs) were $9.8 billion, with surgical site infections contributing the most to overall costs, according to a report.

HAIs are associated with high costs and better evaluation of the cost of these infections could help providers and payers justify investing in prevention, according to background information in the study by Eyal Zimlichman, M.D., M.Sc., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues.

Researchers reviewed published medical literature for the years 1986 through April 2013. For HAI incidence estimates, researchers used the National Healthcare Safety Network of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"As one of the most common sources of preventable harm, health care-associated infections (HAIs) represent a major threat to patient safety," the authors note. "The purpose of this study was to generate estimates of the costs associated with the most significant and targetable HAIs."

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Source: Science Daily