Research Project to Assess Impact of Non-Payment for Avoidable Infectious Complications

Article

The Preventing Avoidable Infectious Complications by Adjusting Payment (PAICAP), a research project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is being conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. The goal of the project is to assess the impact of Medicares policy of non-payment for preventable complications.

PAICAP collaborators include leadership at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and its Prevention Epicenters Program; the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC); the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI); the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

PAICAP's goal is to assess the impact of Medicares policy of adjusting payment for healthcare-associated infections (HAI) on health outcomes and costs in U.S. hospitals; and specifically to:

- Evaluate the impact of the CMS policy on HAI "billing" rates reported by Medicare

- Evaluate the impact of the CMS policy on "true infection" rates reported through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)

- Explore whether the CMS policy reduces both billing and true infection rates in hospitals

-Assess whether reduced reimbursement for HAIs as a result of the CMS policy disproportionately affects hospitals that care for a high proportion of poor and minority patients

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