HAIs are estimated to cause 240,000 infections, 13,500 deaths, and $3.1 billion in excess health costs each year in California.

State-Specific HAIs Report Shows Progress

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius hailed the CDC report released Thursday. It focused on central line-associated bloodstream infections, which cause an estimated $2.7 billion in added health costs nationally.

CDC's first state-specific report summarizing data on healthcare-associated infections, known as HAIs, showed encouraging progress is being made in preventing central line-associated bloodstream infections. This type of HAI causes an estimated $2.7 billion in added health costs nationally, according to HHS.

The report summarizes new data from CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network and indicates central-line associated bloodstream infections are down by 18 percent.

"Today, we are releasing a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which shows our nation is making progress toward eliminating healthcare-associated infections that kill almost 100,000 Americans each year," Sibelius said. "The First State-Specific Healthcare-Associated Infections Summary Data Report demonstrates that the steps we're taking to reduce these often-preventable infections are working.

"This reflects the hard work and dedication of those working towards CLABSI prevention. And we hope that all states and health care facilities will be motivated to continue and strengthen efforts for preventing CLABSIs. As we build on those efforts, this report is also a benchmark for progress on the national goals outlined in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections. On a state level, this report can serve as a baseline from which we can assess the impact of state-based HAI prevention programs, including those funded by the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act."

Every state, along with Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, has published an action plan to reduce HAIs. California's plan, for example, says HAIs are estimated to cause 240,000 infections, 13,500 deaths, and $3.1 billion in excess health costs each year in that state. This plan includes prevention plans initially for CLABSIs, central line insertion practices, and C. diff. infections, and it calls for surveillance, consultation by field staff from the California Department of Public Health, and mandatory reporting of HAIs.

Within HHS, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and CDC are working with professional organizations, state health departments, and hospital associations to reduce bloodstream infection rates. "In the months to come," Sibelius said, "we will continue to strengthen our collaborative efforts to achieve the goals set forth in the HHS Action Plan to reduce HAIs. We will also continue to expand access to health care data for policy-makers, providers, and consumers so they can all make the most-informed health decisions possible. This administration is firmly committed to promoting transparency in our health care system so that we can know what's working, what's not, and how we can do better."

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