New CMS Rule on Infection Reporting

If hospitals see more revenue from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) next year, they may owe a thank-you to the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) – and their own infection prevention pros.

SHEA is urging infection control professionals to get up to speed on new CMS requirements for reporting central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). Starting in 2011, CLABSIs and certain other healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) will have to be reported on the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) for hospitals participating in the CMS Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program. Participation in the programs is voluntary but here’s the catch: Hospitals can’t get full CMS payment without taking part.

How does the process work? Hospitals report their CLABSI data from their adult and pediatric intensive care units and neonatal intensive care units to NHSN, which then shares it with CMS.

Each facility’s data will be also be uploaded to CMS’s Hospital Compare tool, which is designed to publicly report hospital performance so it can be usefully compared.

The focus on CLABSI data will benefit patients will also live in the value of industry’s contributions to preventing infections. Included in the latter, among companies with which we work, are Excelsior Medical and RyMed.

The partnership between CMS and NHSN is intended to create greater transparency of HAI data, make hospitals more accountable for quality care, and boost facility’s support for infection prevention programs and professionals. Read more about NHSN here: http://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/cms-welcome.html/ .

Dr. Attai on New Breast Cancer Report

A new report in the journal Breast Cancer Research underscores the value of exercising, avoiding obesity and moderating alcohol intake.


Breast surgeon Deanna Attai, M.D. notes that the research points toward these factors and lowering breast cancer risk – even in women with a family history of breast cancer.


Moreover, slimming down helps breast cancer patients themselves. “Women who reduce weight after being diagnosed with breast cancer will reduce their risk of recurrence,” said Dr. Attai.


Yardsticks for the research were the American Cancer Society’s recommendations:


  • At least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise five days a week.
  • Normal body weight or body mass index of 18.5 to under 25.
  • No more than one alcoholic beverage a day.

Dr. Attai, who is also known as a leader in the use of accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) and the SAVI applicator, discussed the new research findings on KABC-TV. More on that here: http://tinyurl.com/3ylcgnt.

IV Journal Launches, on the Cutting Edge

Here’s further evidence that vascular access and infection control remain cutting-edge efforts in medicine.

At a time that is witnessing the death of many publications, including several in the healthcare trade media, a new publication covering intravenous care has been launched. Rather than tie itself down to the old paper-publication model, the new IV Journal is online only.

But happily, publisher Andrew Jackson, out of Britain, has created a journal that uses the best of online technology and is also visually appealing. News of the launch can be found here: http://www.ivteam.com/iv-journal-launched. He’s also drawing on contributors internationally.

Here’s how Jackson describes IV Journal:

“This intrepid, innovative new publication acknowledges the rapidly changing nature of intravenous care. Traditional paper based publications are usually bound by subscription restrictions. Intravenous Journal wants to provide a subscription-free online format to provide any IV professional with a unique IV journal experience.”

It’s also worth noting that Jackson publishes the very useful electronic newsletter, IV Team. More about that at http://www.ivteam.com.