According to a recent publication, the U.S. government is cutting payments to U.S. hospitals that have a high rate of patient injuries pursuant to the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program. More specifically, these hospitals will lose one percent of their Medicare patients over the 2017 fiscal year, which runs from October 2016 through September 2017. This high number of penalized hospitals is due in part to considering the spread of antibiotic-resistant germs in assessing patient injuries. These figures come as a result of the third consecutive year that the federal government has assessed Medicare penalties on hospitals with high rates of preventable patient injuries. Overall, the penalized hospitals will see a loss of about $480 million. These losses are about 18% higher than the losses last year. For larger hospitals, these losses translate to over a million dollars in some cases. Furthermore, 40% of the hospitals that the government assessed penalties against this year, or 306 people, had never been penalized before.
While preventable hospital-related harms decreased by 21% between 2010 and 2015, these injuries are still a big threat to the health of hospital patients. There were an estimated 3.8 million hospital injuries last year, or about 115 injuries for every 1,000 patient hospital stays. At least two million people were infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria last year, including almost 250,000 in hospitals. About 23,000 people die from these infections each year. This is due in large part to doctors in hospitals prescribing antibiotics that are unnecessary or inappropriate.
In considering antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their penalty assessments, the federal government focused its efforts on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, Clostridium difficile, or C. diff. While outbreaks of these types of bacteria have decreased in hospitals on the whole, there are still too many cases of these infections that can cause severe complications or even death.
If your loved one has suffered injuries due to neglect at the hands of medical staff at a nursing home or other healthcare facility, you may have a valid personal injury claim. This type of situation makes it essential to contact an experienced Wisconsin nursing home neglect attorney in order to protect your rights and obtain the financial relief that your family deserves. Certain healthcare providers have an obligation under the law to report suspected abuse or neglect of a nursing home or other facility resident. Those who fail to do so must face the consequences of their actions. Hold negligent Wisconsin healthcare providers responsible for the injuries that they cause. Contact Boller & Vaughan today and learn how we can help you.