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1.7 million HAIs reported annually in acute care hospitals
  • Incidence of HAIs in 1 in 20 patients admitted
  • Increased length of stay: Without HAI – 5 days; With HAI – 22 days
  • Readmission rates within 30 days: Without HAI – 6%; With HAI – 30%
  • 100,000 patient deaths per year
  • 6.5% mortality rate from HAIs
  • On any given day, about 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one HAI

Total Costs
  • $10 billion without cost-shifting
  • $35 – $45 billion for acute care hospitals annually (including cost shifting)
  • $28 – $33 billion for non-acute care hospitals annually (including cost shifting)
  • Total direct, indirect and nonmedical social costs of HAIs estimated to be $96 – $147 billion per year


Non-Payment for Treatment of HAIs
  • CMS has eliminated Medicare payments for additional costs incurred due to several HACs, including infections. Hospitals no longer receive additional payment for cases in which one of the selected conditions was not present on admission.
  • On average each HAI costs the involved hospital $23,000.
  • Even when patients are covered by a private payer that has not implemented a policy like that of CMS, the costs of caring for a patient who gets an infection usually far exceed the payments that the facility receives
  • Infections reduce overall net inpatient margins by $286 million or $5,018 for each patient with an HAI

Reduction in Medicare Reimbursements Due to Hospital Readmissions

18% of Medicare patients who had been hospitalized were readmitted within a month.

HAIs are the leading cause of preventable hospital readmissions.
Medicare’s Hospital Readmission Reduction Program.

  • Under Medicare’s Hospital Readmission Reduction Program hospitals’ Medicare payments can be reduced by 3% for all admitted patients
  • Readmission analysis based on hospitals performance on the following conditions: Acute Myocardial Infarction, Heart Failure, Pneumonia, COPD, Hip Arthrosplasty, Total Knee Arthosplasty and Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
  • Hospital’s excess readmission ratio for each condition is a measure of a hospital’s readmission performance compared to the national average for the hospital’s set of patients with that applicable condition
  • This past year 2,592 hospitals were penalized for poor readmission results which is projected to cost the hospitals $420 million
  • This program creates a direct financial incentive to reduce HAIs that cause readmissions

Value Based Purchasing
  • CMS has implemented a Medicare hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program, which rewards hospitals for improving quality and efficiency of care based on 12 clinical process-of-care measures used in five health categories: acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia, HAIs and surgical care improvement
  • To fund this program, Medicare reductions in payments started at 1% in 2013 and rise to 2% in 2017. This is a zero-sum program wherein penalties on under- performing hospitals are used to fund the rewards to higher-achieving hospitals.
  • This results in the reallocation of over $1 billion of revenues
Inpatient Hospital Quality Reporting Program
  • Hospitals participating in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program are required to report occurrences of central-line-related infections, UTI, MRSA and C-dif to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)
  • Hospitals that fail to properly report these measures will lose 2% of their baseline Medicare payment
  • Hospitals must report not only infections, but also all procedures covered by those codes so the CDC can establish baseline rates of infections.
  • Bottom Quartile of Infections
  • Hospitals will be penalized by Medicare if their rate of HACs put them in the bottom performing quartile of hospitals nationwide
  • Starting in 2015, hospitals that reach this level will lose 1% of their overall Medicare reimbursement
  • Total costs to hospitals in FY 2016 from this penalty is estimated to be $364 million


Based on recent precedent of HAI litigation the burden has shifted to hospitals to prove infection was not contracted at the hospital.

In hospitals nationwide 1 out of 4 claims and 24% of hospital professional liability costs arise from hospital acquired conditions (HACs).

Medical malpractice lawsuits associated with HAIs are on the rise nationwide and many have resulted in multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts. Examples include:
  • A Texas man was awarded $17.5 million after a post-operative MRSA infection led to multiple amputations
  • A man in Missouri was awarded $2.5 million after an HAI contracting during the installation of a pacemaker resulted in the loss of his right leg, a portion of his left foot, a kidney and a majority of his hearing
  • These lawsuits alleged that the hospital or healthcare organization was negligent in failing to prevent HAI infections.
New research shows that the chemicals used to clean and disinfect patient care environments can actually create conditions that help various harmful microorganisms like Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), Clostridium difficile (C.difficile) survive and thrive, increasing the risk for cross contamination.

Worker Safety / Workers Compensation Issues
  • Chemical use in hospitals contributes to poor air quality and has been implicated in the increase of worker respiratory ailments such as asthma and reactive Airway Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS)
  • Exposure to and contact with cleaning chemicals can also cause eye, nose and throat irritation, skin rashes, headaches, dizziness, nausea and sensitization
  • By choosing environmentally sound cleaning chemicals, U.S. businesses could realize a productivity gain of $30 to $150 billion annually and a 0.5% to 5% increase in worker productivity
  • According to BLS, exposure to harmful substances caused 15.7 incidents requiring time off from work per 10,000 full-time janitors and cleaners
  • Illnesses account for 7% of total workers compensation claims
  • o Within illnesses the most common types recorded in hospitals are for skin disorders (14%) and respiratory conditions (10%) both of which can be the result of harmful cleaning products
  • The average hospital workers compensation claim is $15,860
  • The estimated cost of replacing a nurse, including separation, recruiting, hiring, orientation and training is $27,000 to $103,000
Examples of workers protesting adverse cleaning products:
  • Over 200 healthcare workers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, complaining of adverse health effects from Oxycide Daily Disinfectant Cleaner which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Employees at the University of Vermont Medical Center began complaining of running noses, headaches and burning sensations from the use of Oxycide. The Mayo Clinic saw similar issues and had the levels of Peracetic Acid measured by ChemDAQ, a company that ensures the safe use of biocidal chemicals in protecting patients from HAIs and foodborne illness. The results have yet to be released.
Data shows up to 70% of HAI’s are preventable. The cost savings of HAI prevention range from a low of $5.7 to $6.8 billion (20% of infections preventable) to a high of $25.0 to $31.5 billion (70% of infections preventable)

GREENSPEED has created a hospital tested and validated system approach to cleaning and disinfecting, using state-of-the-art application technology paired with safe, non-toxic, truly green solutions that are unlike anything used in healthcare today. The Greenspeed Infection Control System is proven to dramatically reduce all HAI’s in healthcare environments.