DALLAS — The average cost of treating major health care-associated infections within 65 days of cardiac surgery is $40,000, with increased costs from intensive care unit stays being an important contributing factor, researchers reported at AHA 2013.
“Our analysis found readmissions due to health care-associated infections after cardiac surgery cost on average nearly three times as much as non-health care-associated readmissions,” Giampaolo Greco, PhD, assistant professor of health evidence and policy at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said in a press release.
Researchers for the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network (CTSN) examined data on the incremental costs associated with major health care-associated infections within 65 days of cardiac surgery. Clinical data on 4,320 patients at nine academic medical centers were merged with related financial data routinely collected by the University Health Consortium in the United States.
The most common cardiac surgery procedures were valve surgery, CABG and CABG/valve surgery.
During hospitalization, 2.7% of patients experienced major infections such as pneumonia, C. difficile and surgical-site infections.
Patients with major health care-associated infections were about twice as likely to be readmitted compared with patients without infections. The researchers reported more than 800 readmissions, with 8.7% due to health care-associated infections.
“In an era that emphasizes early discharge and the need to avert preventable readmissions, this study shows that both are heavily influenced by infection rates and that the costs of health care-associated infections in cardiac surgery are substantial. These data provide critical insights about the potential economic impact of infection prevention programs,” the researchers wrote in the study abstract. - by Katie Kalvaitis
For more information:
Greco G. Abstract poster #18267. Presented at: the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 16-20, 2013; Dallas.
Disclosure: The study was funded by the NIH and the Institute for Health Technology Studies (InHealth). Greco reports no relevant financial disclosures.