Iatrogenic Pneumothorax Added to Medicare HAC List

Medicare Announces New Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) – Iatrogenic Pneumothorax During Venous Catheterization

Medicare's recent ruling can significantly impact hospitals that haven't yet embraced ultrasound needle guidance during central line placements. Sonosite is primed to come to the aid of those seeking the training and equipment needed to reduce their pneumothorax rates during CVC insertions.


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 condition rates are high.

U.S. medical centers that are highly motivated to reduce and eliminate iatrogenic pneumothoraces will likely turn to point-of-care ultrasound as, in multiple studies, ultrasound has been proven to do just that: ultrasound guidance during line placement helps 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 Sonosite's 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 iatrongenic pneumothorax complication 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:

Introduction to Acute Point-of-Care Ultrasound


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