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Feds Crack Down on Antibiotic Resistant Germs in Hospitals

As the federal government increases pressure on hospitals to reduce the number of antibiotic-resistant germs that harm or kill patients, some doctors are the first to admit that they simply don’t know how to prevent all of these infections. Among the most resistant and prevalent of these infections are C. diff. and MRSA. Some of the most common sources of infection include hysterectomies, colon surgeries, urinary tract catheters, central lines. In addition to infection, these conditions also can result in bed sores, hip fractures, and blood clots.

In response, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that the federal government penalize the 25% of hospitals that have the worst rates of patient injuries, including antibiotic-resistant infections, through the reduction of Medicare payments. Only specialized hospitals, such as those that treat psychiatric patients and children, and hospitals that are designated “critical designation” for being sole providers in rural areas are exempt from this requirement. Furthermore, due to the quota that the ACA requires, hospitals can receive penalties even if they have made significant strides toward decreasing patient injuries and infections. Likewise, hospitals complain that when they focus on identifying infections, they are disproportionately penalized by the federal government.

The addition of antibiotic-resistant infections to the list of patient injuries that result in penalties under the ACA caused many hospitals to receive penalties this year that had not received them in the past. Similarly, 347 hospitals that were penalized last year saw no penalties this year. These penalties are likely to increase, given the fact that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also has launched new requirements for hospitals to use antibiotics only in the most appropriate of circumstances.

At Boller & Vaughan, we know firsthand just how prevalent and dangerous antibiotic-resistant germs can be, particularly with respect to the most vulnerable patients residing in healthcare facilities. If your family member has suffered abuse or neglect, we are here to protect your rights and represent your interests, no matter what the case may involve. Our law firm has the experience that you need in a case such as this, so that you can explore all of the options that are available to you, and decide what legal avenue to pursue. Call the Wisconsin nursing home neglect attorneys today at (608) 268-0268 and schedule a free appointment.