Study estimates costs of health-care-associated infections

A study estimates that total annual costs for five major health care-associated infections (HAIs) were $9.8 billion, with surgical site infections contributing the most to overall costs, according to a report published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

HAIs are associated with high costs and better evaluation of the cost of these infections could help providers and payers justify investing in prevention, according to background information in the study by Eyal Zimlichman, M.D., M.Sc., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues.

Researchers reviewed published for the years 1986 through April 2013. For HAI incidence estimates, researchers used the National Healthcare Safety Network of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"As one of the most common sources of preventable harm, health care-associated infections (HAIs) represent a major threat to patient safety," the authors note. "The purpose of this study was to generate estimates of the costs associated with the most significant and targetable HAIs."

According to the results, on a per-case basis, the central line-associated were found to be the most costly HAIs at $45,814, followed by ventilator-associated pneumonia at $40,144, surgical site infections at $20,785, Clostridium difficile infection at $11,285 and catheter-associated at $896.

"While quality improvement initiatives have decreased HAI incidence and costs, much more remains to be done. As hospitals realize savings from prevention of these complications under payment reforms, they may be more likely to invest in such strategies," the study concludes.

More information: JAMA Intern Med. Published online September 2, 2013. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.9763

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Ebola vaccine promising in first human trials

3 hours ago

Researchers say they are one step closer to developing an Ebola vaccine, with a Phase 1 trial showing promising results, but it will be months at the earliest before it can be used in the field.

At one month, US Ebola monitors finding no cases

6 hours ago

The U.S. program that requires weeks of monitoring for travelers from African countries with Ebola reaches the one-month mark Thursday. And so far, no cases of the disease have turned up.

EU calls for 5,000 doctors to fight Ebola

7 hours ago

The European Commission called for 5,000 doctors to be sent from EU states to combat west Africa's Ebola epidemic, a European source with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.