Florida Hospitals Fined for Medical Errors and Infections
After the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare started a policy of reviewing hospital safety and docking institutions with safety violations. The Hospital Acquired Conditions Reduction Program (HACRP) aims to reduce the high number of hospital-acquired infections and medical errors.
This year, Medicare reduced payments to 758 hospitals by 1 percent for safety issues that include hospital-acquired infections and patient injuries. Out of the 758, 10 hospitals are located in the Tampa Bay area. Although a 1 percent reduction does not seem like a large drop in funding, for some hospitals this accounts for tens of millions of dollars. Depending on how much funding the hospital has receives from other sources, this penalty is severe.
Hospital-acquired infections such as C. diff, MRSA and various types of pneumonia kill tens of thousands of patients every year.
Why Hospital-Acquired Infections Can Be Prevented
Hospital-acquired infections are preventable in some cases, and sanitation policies can help save patient lives. Many times, these bacteria infect patients through ventilators, surgical site incisions, IV lines and other medical devices.
Patients and health care providers should frequently wash hands and always sterilize equipment. Some equipment is difficult to sterilize, such as duodenoscopes. Duodenoscopes are more commonly being sterilized with ethylene oxide gas to reach the more difficult areas and crevices found on the device.
This report does not necessarily mean that 10 hospitals in the Tampa Bay area are unsafe, but it does provide patients with information that may be helpful when choosing where to receive care.