Medicare will not reimburse hospitals for pressure ulcers

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Medicare no longer will reimburse hospitals for pressure ulcers and other preventable infections, according to a new rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The rule, which will take effect in October 2008, could save lives and millions of dollars, CMS officials said. Long-term care facilities often admit residents who have contracted infections from hospitals.

Medicare no longer will reimburse hospitals for treatment for eight conditions. They include falls; mediastinitis, an infection that can develop after heart surgery; urinary tract and vascular infections that result from improper use of catheters; and pressure ulcers. Also, Medicare will not reimburse for objects left in the body during surgery, air embolisms and blood incompatibility.