Iatrogenic Pneumothorax added to Medicare HAC List

Medicare Announces New Hospital Acquired Condition – Iatrogenic Pneumothorax with Venous Catheterization

Effective October 1, 2012: If, during the performance of a venous catheterization procedure, the clinician accidentally causes a pneumothorax, Medicare will no longer reimburse the hospital for the extra costs of a resulting pneumothorax (collapsed lung) complication.Medicare’s inclusion of iatrogenic pneumothorax as a preventable complication and decision to no longer reimburse additional costs associated with treatment will have even further financial implications for hospitals since, in the coming years, they will be at risk of losing substantial additional funding if their hospital-acquired complication (HAC) rates are high."We think this will now be the tipping point for the many hospitals that have not adopted or fully embraced ultrasound guidance of central venous catheters."

Medicare’s announcement holds great significance for SonoSite. Because U.S. medical centers will soon be highly motivated to reduce and eliminate iatrogenic pneumothoraces, they likely will turn to point-of-care ultrasound as, in multiple studies, ultrasound has been proven to do just that: ultrasound guidance during line placement prevents mechanical complications such as pneumothorax.

"Now, for the first time ever, we have a hospital measure that can be directly impacted by point-of-care ultrasound,” says Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Diku Mandavia, MD. “We think this will now be the tipping point for the many hospitals that have not adopted or fully embraced ultrasound guidance of central venous catheters."

SonoSite will be offering hospitals the help and support they need to reduce their pneumothorax complications rates, including needle-guidance training and ultrasound machines with advanced needle visualization capabilities.Learn how to reduce and even eliminate pneumothorax complications during CVCs at this half-day Visual Medicine® workshop.