7 local hospitals penalized for high infection rates

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD)—Seven West Michigan hospitals with some of the highest levels of hospital-acquired conditions in the nation will be penalized under the national Affordable Care Act.

In a release Friday, the Economic Alliance for Michigan said 24 Michigan hospitals are among the bottom 25 percent in the nation for hospital-acquired conditions. The rankings are based on conditions patients suffered while in the hospitals, including ulcers, bloodstream infections, surgical site infections and urinary-tract infections.

Medicare has posted the rankings on its website.  Hospitals with a Total Hospital Acquired Condition score above 6.75 face penalties. West Michigan hospitals that crossed that threshold include:

  • Spectrum Health Butterworth, Grand Rapids (8.75)
  • Spectrum Health Big Rapids (8.0)
  • North Ottawa Community Health Center, Grand Haven (8.0)
  • Three Rivers Hospital, Three Rivers (8.0)
  • Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo (7.5)
  • Oaklawn Hospital, Marshall (7.25)
  • Mercy Health St. Mary’s, Grand Rapids (7.0)

The Affordable Care Act requires the lowest ranking hospitals in the country to be penalized. The EAM said hospitals that fell into the bottom 25 percent will see their Medicare payments cut by 1 percent next year.

The EAM said the goal of the program is to hold hospitals accountable and push them to provide better care.

Spectrum Health released the following statement Friday regarding the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program’s ranking:

“Spectrum Health takes infection control very seriously. It is our goal to avoid every possible infection. Preventing Hospital Acquired Conditions (HACs) is the focus of intensive and ongoing process improvement efforts throughout our system. With focus, diligence and the hard work of our team, Spectrum Health has reduced the reported catheter associated infections to below the national average. We consider this a significant accomplishment, especially considering the complexity of the patients we serve.”


In a statement released to 24 Hour News 8, Susan McKinnon with North Ottawa Community Hospital said the data used by Medicare is 18-24 months old and because NOCH has a relatively lower patient volume, one case can skew the numbers more dramatically.  McKinnon said the hospital adopted the ISO 9001’s standards in Feb. 2011 and has made improvements, including adding a medical director of infection diseases and infection control, real-time monitoring of catheters by a certified infection control practitioner, and additional education for nursing staff.



Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program – https://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/hac-reduction-program.html


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