Saturday, April 01, 2006


Hospitals Not the Safest Places to Be, Either

This caught my eye today from Out-patient E-Weekly newsletter, and it ought to open yours as well: "Pennsylvania's hospitals reported 13,711 incidents of healthcare-acquired infections in the first nine months of 2005, 17.5 percent more than the 11,668 recorded for all of 2004, according to a recent report.

"The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, which released the report last week, postulates that the apparent increase is due to improved public reporting and shows the actual impact of hospital-acquired infections state and nationwide.

"The report, which examined incidents, related costs and reporting data through the first three quarters of 2005, also noted that healthcare-acquired infections resulted in 1,456 more patient deaths, 227,000 extra hospital days and $2.3 billion in additional hospital charges than in 2004.

"Using 2004 data — 2005 data was not yet available — the report estimates the cost of treating a patient with a healthcare-acquired infection at $52,600 more than treating a patient without one. This average totals to $613.7 million in additional payments from commercial insurers, Medicare and Medicaid in 2004."

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