What costs up to $151,000 per patient, affects millions of patients, their loved ones and providers, and can cost hospitals millions of dollars in penalties and unnecessary costs?1 The answer is Hospital Acquired Pressure Injuries, known by the misnomer – HAPIs.
In today’s uncertain healthcare marketplace, where hospitals face rising economic, staffing, regulatory and many other pressures, HAPIs are emerging as a significant concern. CMS considers Stage 3 (full-thickness skin loss) or Stage 4 (full-thickness skin loss and tissue loss) pressure injuries “never events” and will not reimburse for the cost of care.2 Yet each year, up to 80% of hospitals are fined for HAPIs at costs that could total millions of dollars,3, and that’s excluding the cost of excess care due to expenses of caring for a condition that didn’t need to happen.
Value-Based Care Bringing Changes
Things are starting to change, and not just for HAPIs. Over the past few years, the healthcare industry has begun to pay more attention to the once-overlooked area of healthcare: chronic wounds. Chronic wounds encompass burns and surgical site infections, pressure injuries (bedsores) that occur in a wide range of settings, HAPIs and diabetic ulcers. While the new focus is welcome, the costs aren’t. Chronic wounds lead to lower reimbursement, penalties, readmissions, patient complications and loss of quality of life.
One reason for the new emphasis on wounds is the advent of value-based care initiatives. Dedicated clinicians and innovators bringing promising technologies, products and services to the market are starting to move the dial in terms of managing costs and improving outcomes.
The impetus for further adoption of new technologies may well lie in an honest exploration of the full cost of chronic wounds – economic, societal and quality of life. Net Health’s latest infographic – What are Wounds Really Costing Your Organization? – highlights the economic toll associated with major wound categories, sharing data on the most common types seen by healthcare providers today.
Change the Wound Care Paradigm
Now is the time to take action. Learn more about the impact wounds have on performance, quality and the impact of penalties.
1Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Module 1: Preventing Pressure Injuries in Hospitals—Understanding Why Change Is Needed
3Nickolas A. Vitale, David A. Dzioba. Why investing in hospital-acquired pressure injury prevention technology makes financial sense. HFMA. February 2021.