Infections acquired in Pennsylvania hospitals resulted in extra charges of about $1 billion to Medicare, $370 million to Medicaid and $600 million to commercial insurers in 2004, according to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania criticized the state's methodology and conclusions, saying reimbursement equals only a fraction of charges, and denied that hospitals were underreporting infections. Council Executive Director Marc Volavka challenged individual hospitals to release specific infection data and corresponding charges and collections. The state counted about 11,700 nosocomial infections -- pneumonia, surgical site, urinary tract or bloodstream -- at 173 acute-care hospitals, a rate of about 7.5 hospital-acquired infections per 1,000 admissions. Mortality was about 16% among Medicare and Medicaid patients with nosocomial infections but was 3.7% and 1.1%, respectively, among other Medicare and Medicaid patients. Read the report. -- by Andis Robeznieks
Pa. estimates cost of nosocomial infections
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