“Over the past decade-plus, acceptance of HAIs as “business as usual” gave way to a string of initiatives that demonstrated success in reducing the incidence of CRBSIs in a variety of health care settings. This initial success led to calls to “get to zero” and targeting a goal of zero CRBSIs in health care systems across the country. The belief that CRBSIs were an avoidable error led the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to declare that it would no longer reimburse for the treatment of HAIs, including CRBSIs.
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The policy, which went into effect in late 2008, was created to help improve the care of patients by incentivizing hospitals to prevent serious hospital-associated adverse events. In 2011, CMS mandated that hospitals report central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). This new CMS regulation makes CLABSI reporting a national requirement to receive full Medicare inpatient payments; facilities that fail to report will not receive the annual 2% Medicare payment increase. However, whether zero is a realistic target or whether the use of reimbursement as a stick to punish hospitals for HAIs has affected patient care is still being debated.”
Exile, M.C. and Sopirala, M.M. (2015) Prevention of Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections, 2015: An overview of current approaches in diagnosis, management, and prevention. Infectious Disease Special Edition. October (19), p.21-30.
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