Policies around hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) were developed under the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) to prevent Medicare from paying more when patients contract preventable infections within the healthcare setting.
In reality, the DRA HAC payment policy only impacts a small fraction of claims for select conditions acquired during a hospital stay. This is due to the fact that many of these claims have complications and co-morbid conditions unrelated to the HAC. Nevertheless, HAC policies have reduced Medicare’s payment of claims for conditions coded as acquired during a hospital stay. The program saves approximately $30 million annually.
HAC policies have forced hospitals to take a closer, more critical look at infection prevention. By broadening their infection-control strategies, hospitals not only safeguard their patients’ health, but also ensure they are not financially penalized due to HACs.
Many types of HACs are transmitted through surgical sites and devices, including catheters, ventilators and implants, which is why the use of embedded antimicrobials within medical devices and surfaces has been a major component of broadened infection-prevention plans.
Sciessent’s Agion antimicrobial technology is incorporated in to numerous FDA-approved medical devices to fight dangerous microorganisms – significantly limiting patient exposure to them.