Major HHS Study on Sepsis Confirms Need for Protocols Like HCA’s Stop Sepsis at Home Initiative

A new study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) lends yet-further emphasis on the need for pre-hospital sepsis screening of the kind advanced by HCA’s Stop Sepsis at Home NY initiative.

According to the HHS study, the rate of Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized with sepsis has increased by 40 percent from 2012 to 2018.

“Medicare patients were most likely to arrive in the hospital with an infection rather than contracting it while hospitalized,” states a report in Fierce Healthcare. “However, two-thirds had a medical encounter in the week before their hospitalization, emphasizing the need for earlier detection.”

For such encounters in home care, HCA’s Stop Sepsis at Home screening program is making an impact. It is screening for sepsis before it rises to the level of hospitalization and/or allowing for a reduction in hospital lengths of stay through earlier identification of sepsis.

Stop Sepsis at Home is additionally providing vital hospital after-care at home to help prevent sepsis-related readmissions. This home care opportunity area to save lives in sepsis after-care is also identified by the HHS study, which found that 40 percent of those diagnosed with severe sepsis or septic shock died in the hospital or within a week of discharge, and 75 percent died within three years. Meanwhile, 10 percent with non-severe sepsis died while hospitalized or within a week of discharge, while 60 percent of these patients died within three years of contracting sepsis. HHS projects that the cost of sepsis care could exceed $69 billion annually, up from $41.8 billion in 2018.

This study is a vital source of data for the value-proposition of HCA’s sepsis screening program which we have identified as a cost-containment and outcomes policy for consideration in the state’s Medicaid Redesign Team deliberations and other policy venues. To learn more and to adopt our screening tool, please visit https://stopsepsisathomeny.org/.

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