Berwick: CMS innovation center can help reduce infections

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The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services' new innovation center will play a big role in helping reduce healthcare-associated infections in all healthcare settings, the agency's director said this week.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation can significantly help spread knowledge on how to prevent HAIs, CMS Administrator Donald Berwick told a National Journal-sponsored forum on Wednesday. CMI has roughly $10 billion at its disposal to fund HAI reduction pilot programs and demonstration projects, according to a Bureau of National Affairs report.

Between 1.6 million and 3.8 million infections occur in long-term care facilities each year, according to HHS figures, cited in the BNA report.  Addressing the forum, Berwick said that patient safety is the most important aspect of care that needs to be improved.