The U.S. healthcare provider Medicare is reducing payments to hundreds of hospitals in the U.S. for having high rates of “hospital-acquired” infections and injuries. The penalised hospitals will have their Medicare payments lowered by 1% per annum. The hospitals were considered to have the highest rates of adverse events including infections from catheters, blood clots, bed sores and other complications that are considered avoidable.
Three grades were used to determine the penalties:-
- The rate of central/line blood stream infections caused by tubes used to pump fluids and medicine into veins.
- Infections from tubes placed in bladders to remove urine
- Rates of eight types of hospital/related complications including collapsed lungs, surgical tears, tears and re-opened wounds and broken hips.
The hospitals were graded on a 10 points scale, with 10 being the worse possible score. Penalties were given to hospitals who scored about 7.
Speaking about the possibility that the Government might start imposing financial penalties to improve adverse events in Irish Hospitals Liam Moloney Healthcare Solicitor said today “hospital infections are almost always preventable through proper hygiene and rigorous adherence to procedures and proposing financial penalties on Irish Hospital can only but improve their standards”.
He added “Irish Hospitals should be graded accordingly to see which hospitals have the worst rates of infection and adverse events and impose penalties on them to get them to improve their health standards”.