Managed Care

 

Hospital-Acquired Infections Should Not be Tolerated

MANAGED CARE February 2014. © MediMedia USA
Managing Editor's Memo

Hospital-Acquired Infections Should Not be Tolerated

It’s not just the daunting challenges that occasionally defeat us. Sometimes plain old-fashioned inertia makes us hit the snooze button once too often. Our cover story leads with a challenge: “Almost immediately, hospitals could cut in half the number of infections that patients contract each year in health care facilities, but we lack the will or have failed to install the proper financial incentives to do so, experts say.”

Contributing editor Joseph Burns presents an in-depth package that looks at the problem of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) and what can be done about it. Something’s already being done about it in some hospitals that have made ending HAIs such a priority that they are now near zero incidents. Other hospitals, though, not so good. Isn’t that the way it has always been in health care? There’s a wide disparity in quality.

Lives are at stake and no one shrugs, least of all clinician executives at health insurance companies. Their beneficiaries suffer, as well as their bottom lines. “Insurance companies could and should prioritize safety in hospitals more than they are doing,” says John Santa, MD, medical director of Consumer Reports.

There are success stories when it comes to developing systems. Thomas A. Scully, who ran CMS under President George W. Bush, tells us in our Q&A that two of the things he’s most proud of from his tenure are Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D. Either because of politics or simply from honest evaluation, some may argue that these do not count as accomplishments. Fair enough, as even Scully would admit. He liked trying to get bipartisan approval and appreciates rational discussion and disagreement.

But that’s a debate for another venue. Suffice it to say here, though, that he did get things done. Take heart.

Meetings

Pharmaceutical Pricing and Contracting Conference Philadelphia, PA September 22–23, 2014
Private Health Insurance Exchanges Conference Washington, D.C. October 7–8, 2014
National Healthcare Facility Management Summit Palm Beach, FL October 16–17, 2014
National Healthcare CFO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
National Healthcare CXO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
Innovative Member Engagement Operations For Health Plans Las Vegas, NV October 20–21, 2014
4th Partnering With ACOs Summit Los Angeles, CA October 27–28, 2014
2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014