With Money at Risk, Hospitals Push Staff to Wash Hands

Tom Emerick, Host of Cracking Health Costs
Tom Emerick, Host of Cracking Health Costs

Thus reads a headline in the NYT by Anemona Hartocollis. (Yes, I spelled her name correctly.)

Historically, hospitals could actually make more income and profit when a patient has a complication such as a nosocomial infection (i.e., an infection acquired in a hospital). That is one more reason not to be admitted to a hospital unless you positively have no other option.

Now that Medicare will be penalizing hospitals when a patient gets a hospital acquired infection, hospitals are focusing on reducing infections in a more serious way.

Per the article, “…the incentive to do something is strong: under new federal rules, hospitals will lose Medicare money when patients get preventable infections.”   

Further, “Studies have shown that without encouragement, hospital workers wash their hands as little as 30 percent of the time that they interact with patients.”  

Click here to read the full article.


First Posted at Cracking Health Costs on 5/31/2013

Thomas G. Emerick is the President of Emerick Consulting, LLC and Host of Cracking Health Costs. Tom´s years with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Burger King Corporation, British Petroleum, and American Fidelity Assurance Company have provided an excellent blend of experience and contacts. His last position with Wal-Mart was Vice President, Global Benefit Design. Tom has served on a variety of employer coalitions and associations, including being on the board of the influential National Business Group on Health, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce Benefit Committee, and many others. Frequently in demand as a speaker for benefits and health care conferences, such as the internationally known World Health Care Congress, Tom´s topics include strategic health plan design, global health care challenges, health care economics, and evidence-based medicine.

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