C. diff transmissions more prevalent than thought

Share this article:
Clostridium difficile transmission and mortality rates are far higher in nursing homes and other healthcare settings than the most recent government statistics suggest, an investigation has found. However, strained nursing home budgets prevent facilities from hiring more nurses or infection control specialists.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in March that c. diff kills 14,000 people a year, based on death certificate records. A USA Today analysis of records from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, however, found more than 30,000 c. diff fatalities per year, and suggests as many as 500,000 infections every year. The newspaper's own analysis looked at hospital billing rates rather than death certificates, which do not always list the cause of death as complications from c. diff.

Due to the high volume of resident transfers, it can be difficult to pinpoint when and where c. diff infections start since the infection can originate in a hospital or in a nursing home, officials said.

U.S. hospitals will be required to report their rates of c. diff in 2013, but there are no such regulations — yet — for nursing homes.
Share this article:

More in News

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume and value: PwC report

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume ...

Long-term care bucked healthcare industry trends with strong merger and acquisition activity in the second quarter of 2014, according to newly released data from professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Empowering nurse practitioners could reduce hospitalizations from SNFs, study finds

Granting more authority to nurse practitioners is associated with reduced hospitalization of skilled nursing facility residents, according to recently published findings.

Pioneer ACO drops out of program, despite reductions in skilled nursing utilization

A California healthcare system has become the latest dropout from the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program, despite reducing skilled nursing facility utilization and improving its readmission rates. Sharp HealthCare announced its decision in a quarterly financial statement released Tuesday.