If you work in healthcare, then you are well-versed in the Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC) Reduction Program administered by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

The program, started in 2014, was created to ensure hospitals continue to focus on the reduction of hospital acquired conditions, such as infections, blood clots, sepsis, bedsores, hip fractions to name a few.

In this blog, Remi shares one centralized resource with the most recent HAC Facts. The series also explores how an Equipment Maintenance Management Program (EMMP) can help uncover savings to offset the penalties faced by your hospital.

HAC Facts:

  • HACs can increase the risk of mortality for a patient by more than 72%
  • The worst-performing 25% of hospitals are penalized each year and lose 1 percent of Medicare payments, which ranges from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars per year
  • 2019 marks the largest number of hospitals affected by HAC, with 800 hospitals set to be penalized
  • 1,756 hospitals have received HAC penalties since the start of the program in 2014
  • 110 hospitals will be getting hit for the fifth year in a row, resulting in a cumulative reduction of 5%
  • On average, eight days are added to a patient’s length of stay due to HACs
  • Some of the hardest hit states for HAC penalties include:
    • New York $28 Million
    • California $21 Million
    • Florida $12 Million
  • 1,000 critical access hospitals, Maryland hospitals, and specialized hospitals for children psychiatric, and veterans are exempt
  • Some suggest that the HAC program is flawed as it unfairly penalizes teaching hospitals, large hospitals and small hospitals
  • Research suggest that hospitals with more than 400 beds, treating highly complex patients are more likely to receive penalties:

Nancy Foster, AHA vice president for quality and patient safety policy, wrote:

“The way the law and CMS’s regulations set up the HAC program unfairly penalizes hospitals at both ends of the spectrum – both the larger and smaller ones,” noting that “penalties on the HAC program are more a function of math than of true underlying quality.”

  • Some suggest that the program fails to consider patient safety improvements that hospitals have already made
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that HACs are responsible for 99,000 deaths and up to $33 billion in health care costs nationally each year
  • The CMS goal for declining HACs is 20% for 2014 to 2019

Do you think that HAC is flawed penalizing the large, small and teaching hospitals?