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The direct medical costs of Healthcare-Associated Infections in U.S. Hospitals and the Benefits of Prevention

This report uses results from the published medical and economic literature to provide a range of estimates for the annual direct hospital cost of treating healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in the United States. Applying two different Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustments to account for the rate of inflation in hospital resource prices, the overall annual direct medical costs of HAI to U.S. hospitals ranges from $28.4 to $33.8 billion (after adjusting to 2007 dollars using the CPI for all urban consumers) and $35.7 billion to $45 billion (after adjusting to 2007 dollars using the CPI for inpatient hospital services). After adjusting for the range of effectiveness of possible infection control interventions, the benefits of prevention range from a low of $5.7 to $6.8 billion (20 percent of infections preventable, CPI for all urban consumers) to a high of $25.0 to $31.5 billion (70 percent of infections preventable, CPI for inpatient hospital services).

Author – R. Douglas Scott II, Economist
Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion
National Center for Preparedness, Detection,
and Control of Infectious Diseases
Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 00

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