Hospitals begin reporting HAI data on national network

By Bernie Monegain
10:12 AM

Hospitals are making progress on collecting and reporting healthcare-associated infection (HAI) data to a national network, according to a new survey by the Premier healthcare alliance.

 By January 2011, Medicare will require all hospitals participating in the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) to enroll in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). The government mandate requires hospitals to collect and report data on specific central line-associated bloodstream infections.
Those that do not meet these requirements by January 2011 and do not submit data to the national network will be subject to a 2 percent reduction in their Medicare inpatient annual payment update for FY 2013.
According to a survey of participants on Premier's August 25 Advisor Live teleconference, "Using NHSN for new CMS requirements:"

  • Nearly 60 percent of respondents are already enrolled in the network
  • Forty-one percent of respondents are both enrolled and already submitting the required data.

More than 2,300 healthcare representatives joined the teleconference.
 "The final Medicare policies incorporate numerous quality measures that hospitals should understand to avoid payment cuts," said Danielle Lloyd, Premier's senior director for reimbursement policy. "The ability to focus on evidence-based care, compare against others, work with physicians, make changes in performance and use appropriate coding will help hospitals steer clear of these cuts while advancing patient safety and the quality of care they provide."
The CDC says there are approximately 3,000 hospitals registered with NHSN, while CMS data shows nearly 3,500 hospitals are currently subject to the pay for reporting requirements.
Surgical site infections reporting begins in 2012 with associated payment impact effective in 2014. Additional measures will likely be introduced in the future.
When asked what poses the greatest challenge for reporting central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), of the nearly 1,000 respondents:

  • 44 percent said experience and proficiency in using NHSN;
  • 41 percent said enrolling in NHSN by January 2011;
  • 16 percent said collecting denominator data.

 "While not included in this IPPS rule, healthcare reform legislation also imposes payment penalties for certain hospital-acquired infections as part of value-based purchasing and a separate penalty for hospital-acquired conditions," said Salah S. Qutaishat, director of surveillance and epidemiology at Premier. "It is imperative that hospitals focus on these infections and get rates as close to zero as possible, as performance data collected through NHSN could be incorporated into the reform policies in the future, and NHSN data will be made public on the CMS Hospital Compare website."
The CDC and Premier announced in May a joint research initiative to test new technologies for predicting incidents of CLASBIs, as well as to automate the reporting of these adverse events to the NHSN. Premier is one of the automated surveillance system vendors capable of supporting uploading of electronic HAI data to the NHSN

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