- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - Eleven Kansas hospitals are among more than 700 nationwide that have been penalized for having high rates of infections or patient injuries, leading to a 1 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements since the current fiscal year began in October.

Medicare evaluated 51 Kansas hospitals, 40 of which were not penalized after scoring below 7 on a 10-point scale for hospital-acquired conditions. The hospitals won’t know the exact amount of their Medicare penalty for months because it is based on payments during the federal fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, The Hutchinson News reported (https://bit.ly/14yu2BT ).

The hospitals across the state were penalized, from suburban Kansas City to Coffeyville. Hospitals that provide specialized treatment, such as psychiatry or rehabilitation, or cater to particular patients, such as children or veterans, were exempt from the inspections. Small “critical access hospitals,” mainly in rural areas, also were exempt.

Medicare studied the frequency of central-line blood stream infections caused by tubes used to pump fluids or medicine in to veins and frequency of infections from tubes placed in bladders between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2013; and serious complications that occurred in the hospitals, such as collapsed lungs, surgical cuts, tears and reopened wounds and broken hips, between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2013.

Hutchinson Regional’s cumulative score of 7.35 prompted it to put safeguards in place since 2013, said Amelia Boyd, vice president for marketing and business development for the Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System. The hospital is participating in the Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection Reduction Collaborative, she said.

“Participating hospitals receive the tools, resources and technical assistance for implementing best practices to reduce infections,” Boyd said. “Since the reporting period, we have seen significant improvement in infection rates and we continue to monitor our systems and processes to look for ways to provide the highest quality of care.”

The other hospitals that were penalized are: Overland Park Regional Medical Center, South Central Kansas Medical Center in Arkansas City, Sumner Regional Medical Center in Wellington, Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park, Miami County Medical Center in Paola, Saint John Hospital in Leavenworth, Kansas Heart Hospital in Wichita, the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Saint Luke’s South Hospital in Overland Park and Coffeyville Regional Medical Center.


Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, https://www.hutchnews.com

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