Health Leaders recently reported that the annual cost of sepsis readmissions is estimated to be about half the annual cost of all four conditions (acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia) in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service’s (CMS) Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), according to a study published in the journal, CHEST.

Also, the average cost per sepsis readmission within 30 days of discharge was $16,852 and 30-day readmissions, after an initial admission for sepsis, accounted for 13 percent of all sepsis-related hospitalization costs.

“In our study, the estimated annual cost of sepsis readmissions amounted to more than $3.5 billion within the United States. When compared to $7 billion for the four conditions targeted by the HRRP, this accounts for a significant under-recognized burden on the United States. healthcare system,” researchers said.

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“For Medicare beneficiaries of the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network region, sepsis is the number 1 reason for hospital admissions and readmissions. Each of the GPQIN states – KS, NE, SD, and ND – are working to improve these rates through a special innovation project focused on Emergency Medical Services and consumers. The project focuses on the early recognition and treatment of sepsis, which is critical to reducing healthcare spending related to sepsis,” stated Krystal Hays, DNP, RN, RAC-CT, Quality Improvement Advisor with the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network.

Sepsis can occur with any infection, so it is important for consumers and healthcare providers to take steps to prevent infections, practice good hygiene habits, know the symptoms of sepsis, and act quickly if sepsis is suspected. We believe, through this concerted effort and partnerships, improvements can be made in early recognition and treatment of sepsis in the targeted communities to reduce progression from sepsis to severe sepsis and septic shock that may result in death. Visit our Web site to learn more.