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Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Program

What is the Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Program?

The Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Program seeks to improve healthcare quality in the inpatient hospital setting. It is a value-based purchasing program where CMS reduces Medicare payments for hospitals falling within the lowest quartile of hospitals when measured on hospital-acquired conditions (HACs).

Annually, CMS evaluates hospital performance by averaging their scores in certain measures of the program to calculate the Total HAC Score. Then, the top 75th percentile receives a 1% payment reduction on all applicable Medicare discharges for the program year.

The six quality metrics used to calculate Total HAS Scores include:

  1. Patient Safety and Adverse Events Composite
  2. Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI)
  3. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia
  4. Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI)
  5. Clostridium difficile infection (CDI)
  6. Surgical site infections (SSI) for colon procedures and abdominal hysterectomy

How does the HAC Reduction Program improve healthcare?

By offering a financial incentive for reducing HACs, the HAC Reduction Program helps encourage hospitals to take actionable steps for preventing HACs, leading to better healthcare and patient outcomes.

Additionally, since it is calculated on an annual basis, hospitals are always encouraged to continue improving their quality of care, especially since they are ranked against other hospitals.