Health Information Management

News: Report details 17% reduction in HACs

CDI Strategies, December 18, 2014

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Preliminary estimates for 2013 show a 9% decline in the rate of hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) from 2012 to 2013, and a 17% decline, from 145 to 121 HACs per 1,000 discharges, from 2010 to 2013, according to a recent Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality report.

“Although the precise causes of the decline in patient harm are not fully understood, the increase in safety has occurred during a period of concerted attention by hospitals throughout the country to reduce adverse events, spurred in part by Medicare payment incentives and catalyzed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Partnership for Patients initiative led by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS),” the report states.

The largest deaths averted and cost savings come from declines in pressure ulcers and adverse drug events. Estimate that pressure ulcers are associated with an excess mortality rate of 72 deaths per 1,000 and excess costs of $17,000 per case, and adverse drug events with an excess mortality of 20 deaths per 1,000 and excess costs of $5,000 per case, according to the report.

Preliminary 2013 estimates show that almost 35,000 fewer patients died in hospitals as a result of the decline in HACs compared to the number of deaths that would have occurred if the rate of HACs had remained steady at the 2010 level.

Although it was not cited in the report, the efforts of CDI professionals to review potential HACs and report as present on admission (when they are truly a documentation issue), may have played a part in the decline.



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