GAO: Hospitals have incentive to under-report infections

You know, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if nobody's watching too closely, hospitals have a major incentive to under-report the number of infections that take place within their facilities. But it doesn't hurt to have an official watchdog like the Government Accountability Office document the extent of the problem.

The GAO has come out with a new study concluding that hospitals may have an incentive to under-report healthcare associated infections, given that states aren't in a position to verify that the hospitals are being honest and accurate in their reports. The problem, the GAO says, is that states are using a CDC-developed system that allows hospitals to use their own internal measurement methods to track HAIs.

According to the report, 23 states have mandatory public reporting of HAIs, with 17 using the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network system; only four have plans to validate the accuracy of the numbers.

To learn more about this report:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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