Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services hospital-acquired conditions policy for central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) shows minimal impact on hospital reimbursement.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) nonpayment policy for health care–associated infections is widely viewed as a catalyst for infection prevention initiatives. This analysis of Medicare fee-for-service claims data shows that following nonpayment policy implementation, there was a substantial increase in claims in which central line–associated bloodstream infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections were reported to be present on arrival to the hospital. According to this analysis, because CMS continued to reimburse hospitals for conditions present on arrival, the nonpayment policy did not have significant financial impact. The authors conclude that the nonpayment policy for health care–associated infections did not have its intended effect. A past PSNet interview discussed the potential benefits and limitations of insurers not paying for preventable complications.