HHS OKs MI infection checklists

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Human Research Protections has ruled that hospitals in Michigan can keep using checklists to manage infection risks. The checklists, which are designed to make sure all appropriate procedures are performed, can cut the rate of catheter-related infections in ICUs, research suggests. HHS had demanded that the Michigan hospitals stop using the checklists, developed based on a Johns Hopkins University study, arguing that using them was unauthorized research activity. The hospitals pushed back hard, arguing that using them was a quality-improvement activity, not research. Now, HHS officials have come around to the hospitals' way of thinking. The agency is now rethinking how it applies its regulations to evidence-based quality improvement projects. Makes sense--why on earth would HHS discourage infection controls, particularly given that Medicare won't pay for some hospital-acquired infections?

To learn more about the HHS decision:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

Related Articles:
HHS shuts down MI infection-control program. Report
Bill would make U.S. hospital infection rates public. Report
By 2008, Medicare won't pay for hospital errors. Report
PA first to report hospital-specific infection rates. Report

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.