Sunday, January 23, 2011


Bill Would Require Hospitals To Report Hospital-Acquired Infections

Under a bill pending in the Kentucky General Assembly, hospitals in Kentucky would be required to report all infections acquired by patients during their stay in the facility to state officials. Senate Bill 72, filed last week by Senator Denise Harper Angel, D-Louisville, would also require all hospitals to implement infection-prevention programs. Harper Angel says the cost of infections acquired during hospital stays is staggering, but Kentucky Hospital Association Vice President Nancy C. Galvagni says the measure duplicates a requirement by the federal government, and adding another system of reporting would be burdensome, and there is no need for a new state mandate which would only add additional, unneeded costs on Kentucky's hospitals and state government. Harper Angel and backers of the measure say the federal reporting requirements have not stopped hospital-acquired infections which has caused as many as 1,400 deaths a year in Kentucky. Hospitals would also have to implement infection prevention programs for acute care areas such as surgical and intensive care units. Facilities that fail to report would first get a citation but would be fined up to $1,000 a day for a second violation in six months and a fine of $20,000 for three or more violations within six months.

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