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25 Things Healthcare CFOs Need to Know About HAIs

25 Things Healthcare CFOs Need to Know About HAIs


The cost of healthcare-associated infections is becoming a medical emergency. The more hospital administrators know about this escalating trend, the better chance there is to pull in the reigns.

Five Things to Know about Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

1. MRSA is resistant to most types of antibiotics and can lead to potentially life-threatening conditions like sepsis and pneumonia.

2. Patients that test positive for MRSA have a 40 percent chance of getting readmitted to the hospital within one year of the initial treatment. The average hospital stay is 27 days.

3. The cost of treating MSRA generally falls on the hospital. In 2015, Medicare and Medicaid added MSRA to the list of HAIs it will not cover.

4. Patients with an MSRA have twice the risk of death than those with methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus infections. MSRA is resistant to most antibiotics, but MSSA will succumb to methicillin, making it a more treatable.

5. Screening for MSRA is a cost effective way to control these infections, but CFOs should consider the expense of the test and the specificity of  the results.

Five Things to Know about Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections

1. Urinary infections top the list of most common HAIs. About 75 percent link back directly to use of a catheter.

2. A CAUTI adds approximately 1,000 dollars of costs to the hospital bill. They make up around 2 percent of the excess expenses.

3. CAUTIs cost the medical industry between 400 to 500 million dollars annually.

4. Hospitals with high rates of CAUTIs may face a 1 percent reduction in Medicare payments because of CMS’ Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program.

5. CAUTIs represent the only HAI that has not dropped in the last few years. In fact, the CDC reports a 6 percent increase since 2009.

Five Things to Know about Central-Line Infections

1. Central Line-associated bloodstream infections are defined as bloodstream infections that occur after a central line or umbilical catheter is in place more than two calendar days.

2. CLABSIs account for 36 percent of excess hospital costs from HAIs.

3. A CLABSI costs on average 45,800 dollars per occurrence. If the infecting agent is MSRA, the cost goes up to over 58,000 dollars.

4. A patient with a CLABSI will stay in the hospital about 10 days longer and almost 16 days for an MSRA infection.

5. CLABSIs decreased nationally by 46 percent from 2008 to 2013.

Five Things to Know about Surgical Site Infections

1. An SSI can be a minor skin infection at the incision site or a more serious tissue and organ infection.

2. Thirty-one percent of HAIS are SSIs. That adds up to estimated 157,000 SSIs for inpatient surgeries in 2011.

3. SSIs cost around 21,000 dollars per patient and 42,000 if the infection is MSRA.

4. An SSI adds an additional 11 days to the patient’s hospital stay.

5. SSIs often lead to unscheduled hospital readmissions adding to the overall cost.

Five Things to Know about Clostridium Difficile

1. C. diff is a gram-positive anaerobic bacillus that can lead to sepsis and other medical problems.

2. The CDC reports about 29,000 patients die within 30 days of acquiring the infections with 15,000 of those deaths a direct result of the HAI.

3. C. diff infections account for 10 percent of all HAIS with an average per patient cost of 11,000 dollars.

4. There was a 10 percent drop in CDIs between 2011 and 2013.

5. The responsible use of antibiotics along with proper environmental infection control can help prevent CDIs. This includes good hand hygiene among hospital staff.


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