Infection control practices to prevent various hospital-acquired infections are being more frequently used, both at nonfederal and VA hospitals, researchers found.
The fact that the trend includes VA hospitals indicates that a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decision not to pay for costs stemming from certain hospital-acquired infections is not the primary driver of the change, according to Sarah Krein, PhD, RN, of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System in Michigan, and colleagues.
That's because the CMS rule has no effect on VA hospitals, they noted online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
"The actual direct impact of the reimbursement rule on prevention efforts to date appears to be limited," the authors suggested.
The CMS nonpayment rule is one of several initiatives aimed at reducing hospital-acquired infections, which affect 5% to 10% of hospitalized patients in the U.S. and may account for nearly $45 billion in annual hospital costs, according to the researchers.
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Sources: MedPage Today; Journal of General Internal Medicine