News: HAC Reduction Program not associated with patient safety improvement, study suggests

CDI Strategies - Volume 13, Issue 52

The declining rate of some hospital-acquired conditions was not because of the penalty-driven Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Program, according to a study recently published in Health Affairs.

For this study, CMS used clinical registry data on rates of hospital-acquired conditions in 2010 to 2018 from a large surgical collaborative in Michigan to estimate the effect of the policy, Modern Healthcare reported.

The study found the rate of some HACs dropped from 61.7 per 1,000 discharges before the program was announced in 2013 to 58.7 after the program was announced. However, while the number of patients with injuries or infections in Michigan declined over an eight-year period, the pace of the decline remained steady prior to and after the program was announced.

Although the data comes from Michigan hospitals specifically, Andrew Ryan, the study’s author and the director of the Center for Evaluating Health Reform at the University of Michigan, said the state "is a reasonable test case" of what may be occurring across the country because it's representative of hospitals nationally and there's been a statewide focus on injury and infection reduction, making it a "best-case scenario for responding to this program."

Editor’s note: To read Modern Healthcare’s coverage of this story, click here. The study was originally published in Health Affairs.