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Experts Support National Public Reporting of Healthcare-Associated Infections
Date:7/20/2009

Stronger Efforts Needed on Drug-Resistant Organisms

WASHINGTON, July 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Five organizations representing the nation's experts in infectious diseases medicine, infection prevention in healthcare settings, and public health and disease prevention announced their support for a provision requiring national reporting of healthcare-associated infection (HAI) rates, which is contained within the healthcare reform bill introduced by leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) sent a joint letter to members of Congress who will be voting on the legislation (HR 3200, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act) in the coming days.

The bill would require hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to report HAI data through an existing national reporting network managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a condition of participation in Medicare and Medicaid.

"Overall -- this is a win for patients," said APIC 2009 President Christine J. Nutty, RN, MSN, CIC. "Public reporting of HAIs may drive further improvement in healthcare processes which will reduce infections, save lives, and preserve healthcare dollars. We are pleased that the House bill would also address the need for highly trained staff to effectively implement the system."

In the U.S., HAIs claim 99,000 lives annually and incur more than $20 billion in excess healthcare costs.

"This legislation will assure accountability and transparency as the nation moves to address this growing public health
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SOURCE Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America; Infectious Diseases Society of America; Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists; Trust for America?s Health; Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology
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