Adverse Event Data Now Available

Institution-specific data on hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) are now available on the federal Hospital Compare website. The information includes hospital-specific and national rates for eight conditions. These are: foreign object retained after surgery, air embolism, blood incompatability, Stage 3 and 4 pressure ulcers, falls and trauma, vascular catheter-associated infection, catheter-associated urinary tract infection and manifestations of poor glycemic control. Findings represent fee-for-service claims for discharges that took place between October 1, 2008 and June 30, 2010. In the summer of 2008 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published a final federal rule selecting ten conditions for which hospitals would no longer receive addition payments when not present at discharge. Recently CMS chose eight of the ten for public reporting on the Hospital Compare website, using Congressionally-imposed criteria addressing cost and volume. The Office of the Inspector General of HHS estimates that 13.5% of hospitalized Medicare patients experience adverse events while hospitalized. Excluded from the database are critical access hospitals and hospitals not participating in Medicare’s prospective payment system. For more information, visit www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov.