APIC Advocates for HAI Funding in Stimulus Bill

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) says it applauds Congress and President Obama for acting on the comments of more than 2,000 of its members who urged their representatives to include funding to help eradicate healthcare-association infections (HAIs) in the stimulus package.

APIC members appealed to their Congressional representatives, urging them to include funding for HAI reduction strategies in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The stimulus bill passed the House and Senate on Feb. 13 and was signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17.

As part of this $787 billion stimulus package, $1 billion was included to fund prevention and wellness programs with $50 million going to states to implement HAI reduction strategies.

Following a Senate compromise plan, which would have provided no funding for wellness and prevention programs or HAI prevention, APIC’s members urged Congressional representatives to restore funding for these programs that had been included in an earlier House-passed bill.

“We applaud Congress and President Obama for taking swift action to help solve the problems confronting our economy and appreciate that lawmakers took the comments of infection preventionists into consideration when drafting the final legislation,” said APIC CEO Kathy L. Warye. “This funding will support both national and local efforts to reduce HAIs which claim 99,000 lives each year. We hope that this increased attention will drive compliance with evidence-based interventions to reduce these infections. We look forward to continuing our partnerships with healthcare professionals, policy makers, insurers and patient advocacy groups to provide support and education in this important endeavor.”