Maryland’s Hospital Infection Effort Includes Financial Penalties

The state of Maryland is putting some financial sting in its efforts to get hospitals to lower the number of patients who contract deadly infections while hospitalized.

Nine hospitals are being fined a total of $2.1 million for having higher than usual infection rates.

The hospitals are: in the Washington, DC area: Prince George’s Hospital Center, Shady Grove Adventist, Montgomery General, Doctors Community and Washington Adventist, plus University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Civista Medical Center in La Plata and Memorial Hospital in Cumberland (now part of the Western Maryland Health System).

Twenty-three hospitals – including Holy Cross, Howard County General, Suburban Hospital and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore – did better than the state average and will receive small bonuses.

The list of all hospitals included in the survey and their infection rates for fiscal year 2010 can be found by clicking here and then click on this line on the web page: Hospital Infection Related PPC Rates, FY 2010.

The state’s effort is more ambitious than just infections. It follows a set of 49 PPCs: Potentially Preventable Complications. It sets up payment incentives and fines to encourage hospitals to reach goals of making patient care safer.

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