A new study by Dr. Eyal Zimlichman of Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Medical School and colleagues published in the Sept. 2, 2013, edition of the JAMA Internal Medicine documents the added costs of infections contracted during medical procedures and hospital stays in the United States to be $9.8 billion per year.
The researcher based their analysis on records from the National Healthcare Safety Network of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a review of the medical literature from 1986 through April of 2013.
The purpose of the study was to document the added costs to patients and insurance companies that preventable infections that occurred during hospital stays and surgical procedures cause.
This effort is in line with the goals of the Affordable Care Act that insists that hospitals improve the quality of care to reduce costs and improve outcomes.
The most costly hospital produced preventable infections were blood system infection that added an average cost of $45,814. Ventilator produced infections were found to add an average cost of $40,144 for the treatment of pneumonia that resulted from ventilator infections. Bacterial infections that occurred at the site of an invasive surgery produced an added average cost of $20,785.