Journal Article

“Never Events”: Not Every Hospital-Acquired Infection Is Preventable

Jack Brown, Fred Doloresco and Joseph M. Mylotte

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 49, issue 5, pages 743-746
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 2009 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/604719
“Never Events”: Not Every Hospital-Acquired Infection Is Preventable

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Medicare stopped reimbursing United States hospitals for several complications or comorbidities developed during hospitalizations effective 1 October 2008. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services selected high-cost or high-frequency events from the National Quality Forum's list of “never events” for inclusion in this reimbursement change. Several of these complications and/or comorbidities are nosocomial infections, a significant proportion of which are not likely to be preventable. Attempts to eliminate these events may have unwanted clinical and economic outcomes, and compliance with coding and billing requirements will have a significant effect on research conducted using administrative databases. Although this reimbursement change is a step toward reducing the rate of preventable adverse events, its current form does not provide guidance with regard to how hospitals may hope to reduce the rate of these infections, and it uses individual case-based rather than process-based or population-based outcome measures, which makes benchmarking and goalsetting difficult.

Journal Article.  2087 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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