Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the Medicare Hospital-Acquired Conditions Initiative will have a significant impact on antibiotic prescribing and infection control practices for hospital-acquired infections. The new Physician & Payer Forum report Hospital Anti-Infectives: Insights on the Impact of Medicare Reforms, Formulary Inclusion, and Uptake of Novel Antibiotics and Antifungals finds that approximately one-third of surveyed physicians expect to increase their use of antibiotic prophylaxis to help prevent the development of hospital-acquired infections.
According to the report, surveyed physicians are highly concerned about Medicare's decision to reduce reimbursement of the costs of treating certain hospital-acquired infections. Following the implementation of the new initiative in the United States on October 1, 2008, Medicare will no longer cover the additional costs of treating ten conditions acquired during a hospital stay, including vascular catheter-associated infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections and surgical site infections following certain elective procedures. The report finds that 62 percent of infectious disease specialists and 73 percent of critical care specialists are most concerned about Medicare's decision to no longer reimburse the cost of treating vascular catheter-associated infections.
"Physicians we surveyed are concerned about the lack of Medicare reimbursement for vascular catheter-associated infections," said Danielle Drayton, Ph.D., director at Decision Resources. "Many physicians indicate these changes will prompt them to increase their prescribing of carbapenems and anti-MRSA therapies, most notably Cubist's Cubicin and Pfizer's Zyvox."
The report finds that, in the wake the Medicare HAC Initiative, infectious disease and critical specialists expect to rely more heavily on antibiotics in some form (e.g., prophylaxis, empiric use) to prevent and manage the treatment of hospital acquired infections. Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee members, however, expect greater emphasis on antibiotic oversight and cost-effectiveness.
Hospital Anti-Infectives: Insights on the Impact of Medicare Reforms, Formulary Inclusion, and Uptake of Novel Antibiotics and Antifungals is based on a U.S. survey of 50 infectious disease specialists, 51 critical care specialists, and 22 infectious disease specialists who are also Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee members of their hospital. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical, economic, and scientific factors.
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