Today’s CMS Rule: A Major Step for HAI Reporting – Part 1Posted on by
–Mike Bell, MD
Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, CDC
It’s a new day in our efforts to eliminate healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). A rule released today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) lays out HAI reporting requirements for Medicare eligible hospitals that participate in CMS’ pay-for-reporting program. More than 3,500 hospitals will soon use CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) to report central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) and surgical site infection (SSI) data to CMS. In turn, the agency will post the information on the HHS publicly accessible Hospital Compare Web site.
The release from CMS today is yet another sign that HAIs are recognized as a significant measure of healthcare quality. It is encouraging to see CMS build upon its work in preventing healthcare-acquired conditions, including HAIs.
So, what does this mean in practice?
For healthcare facilities – it connects financial incentives to HAI reporting. In other words, facilities that report will be recognized and rewarded for their efforts. We expect that this change will fuel existing momentum toward HAI prevention and elimination programs already happening within healthcare facilities across the country.
For patients – it is an excellent way to see how their hospital is doing on several quality of care issues, including preventing infections. It will be the first time patients from all states can view the infection data from their local hospitals. This information can serve as a discussion point between patients and their healthcare providers.
For our healthcare system – it increases our accountability and transparency. Data on HAIs can drive our prevention initiatives. When we know where infections are occurring, we can work to prevent them and protect patients.
To implement this rule, we will start with a phased approach. In 2011, CLABSI data will be reported, and we are starting with the most vulnerable patients – those in intensive care units and neonatal intensive care units. In 2012, data from surgical site infections (SSIs) will be reported. We expect to expand further in coming years.
It will be critical for facilities to take a team approach. Hospitals will need to rely strongly on their infection preventionists and healthcare epidemiologists, as well as all practicing clinicians. In our next several blog posts, you will hear from infection preventionists, healthcare epidemiologists, clinicians, and consumers on their perspectives of this new rule.
In the meantime, tell us your thoughts.
- Page last reviewed:March 26, 2019
- Page last updated:March 26, 2019
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