Impact of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services hospital-acquired conditions policy on billing rates for 2 targeted healthcare-associated infections - Abstract

BACKGROUND: The 2008 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services hospital-acquired conditions policy limited additional payment for conditions deemed reasonably preventable.

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether this policy was associated with decreases in billing rates for 2 targeted conditions, vascular catheter-associated infections (VCAI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI).

STUDY POPULATION: Adult Medicare patients admitted to 569 acute care hospitals in California, Massachusetts, or New York and subject to the policy.

DESIGN: We used an interrupted times series design to assess whether the hospital-acquired conditions policy was associated with changes in billing rates for VCAI and CAUTI.

RESULTS: Before the policy, billing rates for VCAI and CAUTI were increasing (pre-policy odds ratio per quarter for VCAI, 1.17 [95% CI, 1.11-1.23]; for CAUTI, 1.19 [1.16-1.23]). The policy was associated with an immediate drop in billing rates for VCAI and CAUTI (odds ratio for change at policy implementation for VCAI, 0.75 [95% CI, 0.69-0.81]; for CAUTI, 0.87 [0.79-0.96]). In the post-policy period, we observed a decreasing trend in the billing rate for VCAI and a leveling-off in the billing rate for CAUTI (post-policy odds ratio per quarter for VCAI, 0.98 [95% CI, 0.97-0.99]; for CAUTI, 0.99 [0.97-1.00]).

CONCLUSIONS: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services hospital-acquired conditions policy appears to have been associated with immediate reductions in billing rates for VCAI and CAUTI, followed by a slight decreasing trend or leveling-off in rates. These billing rates, however, may not correlate with changes in clinically meaningful patient outcomes and may reflect changes in coding practices. 

Written by:
Kawai AT, Calderwood MS, Jin R, Soumerai SB, Vaz LE, Goldmann D, Lee GM.   Are you the author?
Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Institute, Boston, Massachusetts; Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases,Doernbecher Children's Hospital,Oregon Health and Science University,Portland,Oregon; Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Reference: Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2015 Apr 24:1-7.
doi: 10.1017/ice.2015.86


PubMed Abstract
PMID: 25906824

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