Legislator wants to make hospitals, health care facilities report infections acquired by patients under their care

In the face of strong opposition from Kentucky hospitals, a Democratic legislator has filed a bill that would require all health-care facilities to report the incidence of infections acquired by patients while under their care, the Lexington Herald-Leader‘s Beth Musgrave reports.

“The cost of hospital-acquired infections to Kentucky’s health care system is estimated to be $392 to $462 million each year,” state Sen. Denise Harper Angel, left, said, calling the sum “staggering.” The Louisville legislator also wants to require all health facilities to implement infection-prevention programs.
Nancy Galvagni, senior vice president of the Kentucky Hospital Association, said the federal government already requires that hospital-acquired infections be reported. “There is no need for a new state mandate which would only add additional, unneeded costs on Kentucky’s hospitals and state government,” she said.
Infections commonly acquired at health facilities include “urinary tract infections caused by catheters, pneumonia caused by ventilators and surgical wound infections,” Musgrave reports. Some report as many as 1,400 people die in Kentucky each year from hospital-acquired infections (which hospitals prefer to call “healthcare-associated infections,” keeping the acronym but spreading the blame).
Senate Bill 72 would require that health care facilities report their infection data to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services by July 1, 2012. (Read more)
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