In 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services implemented VBIPs to financially reward or penalize hospitals based on quality metrics. These programs targeted hospitals' rates of certain healthcare-associated infections deemed preventable. Previous studies demonstrated minimal impact of these payment programs on measures of hospital processes, patient experience and mortality. However, their impact on patient safety metrics, including healthcare-associated infection rates, had been unknown.
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute examined changes in trends for different CAUTI-related quality measures in nearly 600 hospitals across the country. They found no evidence that the VBIPs had any measurable association with CAUTI rates in the critical care units of U.S. hospitals. In particular, implementation of these programs was not associated with reductions in device-associated CAUTI rates, the measure that the programs explicitly target.
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"The good news for patients is that we found modest improvements over time in the use of urinary catheters in the critical care units of U.S hospitals, along with decreased risk for associated urinary...
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