As San Diego medical malpractice lawyers, we are concerned that several
California hospitals are not doing enough to prevent hospital-acquired
conditions (HACs), which can lead to serious complications and even be
fatal. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently
announced that 88 healthcare facilities in the state will be penalized
for poor ratings in HAC quality performance measures.
As the name suggests, HACs are infections that patients develop while receiving
medical treatment for other conditions. Some of the most common include
central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary
tract infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, Clostridium difficile
bacterial infections, and surgical site infections. These preventable
infections impact approximately one in twenty patients, according to the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To provide an incentive for hospitals to reduce HACs, the Affordable Care
Act (ACA) established the
Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program. The program requires the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human
Services to reduce Medicare payments to the worst-performing hospitals
with respect to HAC quality measures.
The worst performing U.S. hospitals are identified based on the hospital’s
performance on quality measures of central-line associated bloodstream
infection, catheter associated urinary tract infection, and surgical site
infection. The CMS rating system also takes the rates of the following
conditions into account:
- Collapsed lungs;
- Broken hips;
- Infections from colon operations;
- Infections from hysterectomies;
- Pressure ulcers;
- Reopened wounds;
- Sepsis; and
- Surgical tears.
88 hospitals will be penalized in FY 2016 for their HAC rates. Of those, 51 were penalized in the last round as
well, which suggests that some facilities are still not taking the proper
steps to improve patient safety.
At the Law Offices of Robert Vaage, our legal team has the experience required
to pursue a complex California medical malpractice claim.
We encourage you to contact
a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free