January 28, 2015

More Than Half of Connecticut’s Hospitals Exceed Federal Infection Standards

According to a recent Connecticut Health Investigative Team article, federal Medicare data shows that more than 50% of Connecticut hospitals had hospital-acquired infection rates that exceeded federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) benchmarks in 2012 and 2013. Connecticut had the highest percentage of hospitals failing to meet these benchmarks, with most states having less than 20%.

Medicare’s “Hospital Compare” website has been tracking and publishing hospital-acquired infection rates since 2012 as part of an infection-reduction program established under the Affordable Care Act. Hospitals with the worst infection rates in 2012 and 2013 will lose 1% of their Medicare reimbursements for federal fiscal (FFY) year 2015.

According to Kaiser Health News, 14 Connecticut hospitals will face such a penalty: (1) the Hospital of Central Connecticut; (2) the Hospice of Central Connecticut; and (3) Bridgeport, Danbury, Hartford, John Dempsey, Johnson Memorial, Manchester Memorial, Norwalk, Rockville General, Stamford, Waterbury, Windham Community Memorial, and Yale-New Haven hospitals.

While all Connecticut hospitals met CDC benchmarks for central-line bloodstream infections, several exceeded the average for other types of hospital-acquired infections, such as urinary tract infections, colon surgery-site infections, and “C. diff” (C. difficile, a bacterial infection that causes colitis).