Hospital-Acquired Conditions (HACs)

What are hospital-acquired conditions (HACS)?

Hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) are patient complications that develop during an inpatient stay at a hospital.

What is an example of a hospital-acquired condition?

Examples of common hospital-acquired conditions include hospital-associated infections (HAIs) like C. diff, MRSA, hospital-acquired pneumonia, and central line-associated bloodstream infections.

In a broader sense, CMS categorizes HACs in the following 14 categories:

  • Foreign object retained after surgery
  • Air embolism
  • Blood incompatibility
  • Stage III and IV pressure ulcers
  • Falls and trauma
  • Manifestations of poor glycemic control
  • Catheter-associated UTI
  • Vascular catheter-associated infection
  • Surgical site infection, mediastinitis, following coronary artery bypass graft
  • Surgical site infection following bariatric surgery for obesity
  • Surgical site infection following certain orthopedic procedures
  • Surgical site infection following cardiac implantable electronic device
  • Deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism following certain orthopedic procedures
  • Iatrogenic pneumothorax with venous catheterization

Why are hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) important in healthcare?

It is important to understand and control instances that commonly lead to hospital-acquired conditions. HACs typically lead to longer hospital stays for patients, and sometimes readmissions, which negatively affect health outcomes.

Instances of HACs also put more financial and labor pressure on hospitals and providers as patients then require additional medical care. Additionally, increased cases of HACs will negatively impact a hospital’s HAC score.

Programs like the Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Program, as well as infection prevention and control training help avoid instances of patients developing conditions or infections during their hospital stay.