What is The Chargemaster?

by Erica Mitchell | October 20 2021

To provide better transparency, hospitals across the nation have publicly posted their prices. The idea was to help consumers make better financial choices about their healthcare and motivate hospitals to make prices more competitive. But as hospitals roll out their price lists, what consumers are accessing is not a neat menu of options, but rather a door to a complex, changing world of codes, acronyms, and abbreviations known as The Chargemaster.

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Measuring the Cost-Effectiveness of an HAI Reduction Intervention: Effectiveness

by Erica Mitchell | October 13 2021

Measuring the cost-effectiveness of an infection prevention intervention requires careful translation of complex issues into dollar values: The problems, the possible solutions, the methods of evaluation, and the desired outcomes. The result is a calculation that measures whether or not the costs associated with an intervention are outweighed by the benefits gained by that intervention. Today we will delve into the big ideas behind that final calculation.

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Measuring the Cost-Effectiveness of an HAI Reduction Intervention: Cost

by Erica Mitchell | October 6 2021

When considering an infection prevention intervention, how should the costs be calculated? The first question should be what costs should be calculated? With the myriad of direct, indirect, and intangible costs related to HAIs, where is a facility to start? There are several types of costs to be taken into consideration, and each type will come from different sources. In this post, we will explore how a facility may collect cost data when evaluating a potential new infection intervention.

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Measuring the Cost Effectiveness of an HAI Reduction Intervention: Perspective

by Erica Mitchell | September 29 2021

Any time a healthcare facility considers investing in a new intervention - a medicine, a device, a piece of equipment, and even a training program - one of the first considerations will be cost effectiveness. The facility has a responsibility, both financial and ethical, to weigh the cost of an investment with the likelihood and extent of patient benefits. We would all love to live in a world where hospitals could invest in any and all interventions without thought as to cost and return on investment. Instead, we face a reality in which not only are financial resources limited, but also personnel, space, and even time are constrained. As a result, when millions of dollars and patients' lives are at stake, calculating cost effectiveness of an intervention has a lot on the line.

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Infection Control & Alternative Payment Models: Who Will Pay? (Part 2)

by Erica Mitchell | September 22 2021

Our previous post presented some of the problems with the current fee-for-service payment model used in healthcare. In response to these costly problems, there are a number of alternative payment models being tested, with promising results. Today we will look at the alternatives that seem to be picking up speed as we move toward reducing our nation's healthcare costs.

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Infection Control & Alternative Payment Models: Who will Pay? (Part 1)

by Erica Mitchell | September 15 2021

As hard as it is to believe, most hospitals do not know how much their services cost. They know what they charge, but that number has almost nothing to do with what individual services actually cost them as providers. This is about to change. With shockingly rising healthcare costs (17% of our gross national product, and rising at 4% per year) and frighteningly shrinking coffers with which to pay for it, there is a growing movement to move from fee-for-service payment models to alternative value-based payments. As we move towards these new cost-reducing models, what will be the impact on infection control?

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Nursing Homes and Infection Control

by Erica Mitchell | March 3 2021

The Wall Street Journal addressed the growing concern over infection control in America's nursing homes, citing research from a recent paper from the Columbia School of Nursing. The article summarizes the four key obstacles to effective infection control in nursing homes: Overuse of antibiotics, inadequate staff/training, lack of resources, and a lack of data/surveillance. In this series of posts, we will explore the nursing home landscape, investigating the origin of and solution to each of those four obstacles. Today we start with an overview of nursing homes.

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