Only a few months remain until voluntary participation in CDC’s reporting network begins, and Medicare dollars are on the line
Participation in the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network is voluntary, but hospitals must be onboard by January 2011 for central line-associated bloodstream infections, or they risk Medicare payment penalties. A similar requirement is in place for surgical-site infections starting in 2012. “We’re very pleased with the announcement,” regarding the two measures, said Russell Olmsted, president-elect of APIC.
The CMS has raised the bar for reporting healthcare-associated infections by tying hospitals’ annual payment update to submission of infection data via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s secure, Web-based surveillance system.
Beginning next year, the agency is requiring that hospitals use the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network, or NHSN, to report their incidences of central line-associated bloodstream infections, in order to receive a full Medicare payment update for 2013. In addition, hospitals will need to report on surgicalsite infections beginning in January 2012 to receive full reimbursement for 2014.
The NHSN has been widely praised for its use of set definitions and protocols, and the move is expected to introduce much-needed standardization to national reporting of healthcare-associated infections, at least for those two measures.
“We’re very pleased with the announcement,” said Russell Olmsted, president-elect of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and an epidemiologist at St. Joseph Mercy Health System, Ann Arbor, Mich. “Using one single platform with standard definitions helps ensure that the method of evaluating infections in San Diego is the same as it is in Boise. It cre- ates a level playing field.”
The measures were included in the CMS’ final revisions to the inpatient prospective payment system, or IPPS, issued July 30, and are part of the Reporting Hospital Quality Data for Annual Payment Update program. In the final rule, the CMS left the door open to include other types of infections for future NHSN reporting, including ventilator-associated pneumonia and multidrug-resistant organism infections.
Enrollment in the NHSN is free, but it does require time and patience, according to infection preventionists. Facilities must agree to use the network’s tools and interfaces, adhere to set methodologies and report results periodically. They must also fulfill a number of training requirements. The CDC’s NHSN website features instructional webcast sessions covering enrollment, data entry, surveillance, patient safety and healthcare personnel safety. For instance, all NHSN users are required to receive central-line-insertion practices training, which
In January 2012, hospitals will be required to report surgical-site infections or face a Medicare payment penalty in 2014. A similar requirement for central line-associated bloodstream infections begins next year.