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July 2009
Vol. 19 No. 7
Policy and Advocacy
IDSA, SHEA, Others Support Mandatory National Reporting of HAIs

IDSA and four other organizations are supporting a provision in a federal health reform bill that would require national reporting of healthcare-associated infection (HAIs) information. The provision would require hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to report HAI data in order to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Nationally, these infections claim an estimated 99,000 lives every year and cause more than $20 billion in excess medical costs.

Two aspects of the legislation were crucial to IDSA’s support: The bill specifies the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Healthcare Safety Network as the target and repository of the HAI data, rather than calling for a new or separate system, and the legislation gives CDC the latitude to determine which pathogens should be reported and how.

IDSA, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), and the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) this month sent a joint letter to Congress and issued a press release supporting the provision, which is part of a health reform bill (H.R. 3200) introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (see President’s Message). The groups also urged Congress to include the Strategies to Address Antimicrobial Resistance (STAAR) Act (H.R. 2400) as part of the final health reform bill (see IDSA News article) to strengthen the federal approach related to antimicrobial resistance.

There is much interest on Capitol Hill in the HAI issue, and IDSA continues to monitor legislative developments and support additional funding for CDC—in particular, its National Healthcare Safety Network—and funding for related purposes.

On a related front, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a new federal plan to reduce HAIs (see IDSA News article). This summer, HHS is holding several meetings to solicit feedback and promote the plan, which includes prevention metrics and targets for reducing and preventing HAIs.

For more information on HAI prevention, see:

The Compendium of Strategies to Prevent HAIs in Acute Care Hospitals

5th Decennial International Conference on Healthcare-Associated Infections, March 18-22, 2010, Atlanta. Abstract submission deadline: Nov. 16.
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