CMS Cracks Down On Hospital-Acquired Conditions
Although people rely on hospitals to provide them with medical attention, hospitals actually pose unique risks to patients. While some risks are unavoidable, hospitals are expected to provide a certain standard of care that protects patients from hospital-acquired conditions. Unfortunately, not all hospitals uphold the appropriate standard of care; but the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is helping protect patients from hospital-acquired conditions with a new incentive program.
What Is A Hospital-Acquired Condition?
A hospital-acquired condition (or HAC) is a hazardous or undesirable condition caused during a patient’s hospital stay or stay in a medical facility.
There most common hospital-acquired conditions include:
- Contracting hospital infections like MRSA
- Falls and other trauma
- Pressure ulcers
- Foreign objects left inside the patient’s body after surgery
- Blood incompatibility
- Air embolisms
HACs can have devastating consequences for patients and a high number of HACs in a particular hospital could indicate the hospital is not upholding the standard of care patients deserve. However, hospitals are not going unchecked. The CMS is working diligently to make hospitals safer for patients.
What Is The CMS Doing?
The CMS instituted the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program to provide incentives for hospitals to reduce HACs and penalize hospitals that perform poorly. The CMS rates hospitals according to a variety of quality factors and makes this information public through the Medicare website. Hospitals with high ratings for HACs receive less Medicare and Medicaid payments than they would ordinarily receive. Hospitals with low ratings for HACs receive full compensation. While all hospitals should strive to provide the highest standard of care, the CMS’s HAC Reduction Program grants a monetary incentive for providing the best care.
Hospital Negligence Attorneys for Philadelphia Families
Despite the CMS’s best efforts, completely eliminating all HACs will likely be impossible and many patients will continue to be harmed by negligent hospitals. If you or someone you love acquired a hospital-acquired condition in a Philadelphia hospital or other medical facility, the experienced hospital negligence attorneys at Lopez McHugh LLP can help. We can analyze your situation and help you understand your legal options. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.