New rule demands more from hospitals on sepsis prevention

Beginning this fall, hospitals could be at risk of losing funding if they do not meet certain benchmarks for sepsis care, due to a Biden administration rule finalized in August.

With the aim of reducing sepsis-caused deaths — which nationally sits at 270,000 per year — the new rule requires that hospitals perform blood tests on suspected sepsis patients quickly in the hopes of identifying any anomalies that signal a sepsis infection. In addition, clinicians are to begin administering antibiotics to any patient with a possible case within three hours of identifying any signs of infection. Additional methods to keep the patients blood pressure from dropping should also be implemented. Beginning this fall, hospitals must also report whether they are meeting the guidelines and also meet newly proposed care benchmarks, USA Today reported Sept. 28.

There is still some time for hospitals to comply in other areas, though. According to CMS, hospitals have until FY 2026 to fully adopt the "Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock: Management Bundle measure in the Safety Domain." 

It's a rule the American Hospital Association opposes. 

"[A]n organization wanting to participate in the sepsis bundle under BPCI-A was required to support all conditions under 'Medical and Clinical Care,"' the group wrote in an Aug. 17 letter. "This included conditions such as cellulitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis, asthma, renal failure, simple pneumonia, and respiratory infections and urinary tract infections, many of which have no clinical connection to sepsis. This requirement created barriers to participation for organizations that were well positioned to support some but not all episodes within a service line."

Failing to comply, could cost hospitals thousands in Medicare and Medicaid funding, USA Today reported.

However, other groups like the Sepsis Alliance have pushed for stronger guidelines around the deadly hospital infection for years. 

"Some nations, including Switzerland and the United Kingdom, have implemented national sepsis strategies, but the United States has yet to do so," the group wrote in a Sept. 11 news release. "A National Sepsis Action Plan is urgently needed to guide work aimed at countering sepsis, saving lives, and reducing healthcare costs." 

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars