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Early intervention by infectious diseases specialists saves lives, reduces costs
Date:9/27/2013

ndocarditis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/opportunistic infections, meningitis, osteomyelitis, prosthetic joint infections, septic arthritis, septic shock, and vascular device infections. Matching patient characteristics, researchers compared the outcomes of 61,680 cases in which a hospitalized patient saw an ID specialist to 65,192 cases that did not involve an ID specialist.

The benefits of ID consultation are more pronounced when patients are seen earlier, researchers note. Patients seen by an ID physician within two days of being admitted to the hospital are 6 percent less likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge compared to patients seen by an ID physician after the first two days. These patients also have an average 3.8 percent fewer days in the hospital, and their total Medicare costs are nearly 6.2 percent lower in the 30 days after discharge from the hospital.

"These findings are in line with healthcare reform efforts being implemented through the Affordable Care Act, which shows that including ID specialists in up-front care of patients provides better outcomes at lower costs," said Daniel McQuillen, MD, FIDSA, a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, ID physician at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center and study author. "Further, the association of ID specialist involvement with reduced readmission rates suggests an important role for the ID physician in transitions of care from the hospital to the community."


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Contact: Jerica Pitts
jpitts@pcipr.com
312-558-1770
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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