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Kansas Hospitals Penalized For Infection Rates And Patient Injuries

kansasheart.com, hutchregional.com, sckmc.org, srmcks.org



Four hospitals in South Central Kansas face a financial penalty for having high rates of infection or patient injuries in recent years.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports.

A federal law requires Medicare to grade hospitals for hospital-acquired conditions such as the frequency of central-line blood infections, urinary tract infections or serious patient complications during care.

As a result, 11 hospitals in Kansas had rates too high and will be penalized by having their Medicare reimbursements reduced by one-percent this fiscal year.

The Hutchinson Regional Medical Center is one of them.

“It’s one of the top priorities here in the system. Everybody is aware of it and everybody is working,” says Amelia Boyd, Vice President for Marketing and Business Development with the Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System. 

Boyd says the Medicare grading was based on records from a period ending in 2013. She says the hospital has since stepped up their processes to reduce infection rates. One example is the hospital’s intensive care unit.

“They did a 'Surviving Sepsis' initiative where they educated staff and physicians on early recognition of sepsis and established treatment, protocols for patients," Boyd says. "They had a marked effect--a 66 percent reduction since the beginning of the awareness campaign.”

The other hospitals in our area being penalized are the Kansas Heart Hospital in Wichita, Sumner Regional Medical Center in Wellington and the South Central Kansas Medical Center in Arkansas City.

Penalized Kansas Hospitals: 

  • Hutchinson Regional Medical Center 
  • Overland Park Regional Medical Center 
  • South Central Kansas Medical Center in Arkansas City 
  • Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park 
  • Miami County Medical Center in Paola 
  • Saint John Hospital in Leavenworth
  • Kansas Heart Hospital in Wichita 
  • The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City 
  • Saint Luke's South Hospital in Overland Park
  • Coffeyville Regional Medical Center
  • Sumner Regional Medical Center in Wellington

Medicare evaluated 51 Kansas hospitals and 40, or 78.4 percent, were not penalized.

Boyd says that Hutchinson Regional Medical Center is participating in the Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection Reduction Collaborative, which includes the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network and Kansas Foundation for Medical Care. They receive the tools, resources and technical assistance for implementing best practices to reduce infections.