|Published:||Sep 12, 2013 10:37 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 12, 2013 11:38 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, FL.--Imagine this, you go to the hospital for treatment and end up with an infection.
It's your money and a troubling new study finds medical mistakes are costing us billions of dollars a year.
A key part of President Obama's health care law is to punish hospitals with high infection rates.
We wanted to know, what are doctors in southwest Florida doing to improve your care?
We found out that most hospitals across southwest Florida have really stepped up their game the past couple of years when it comes to reducing the number of infections and now with the Affordable Care Act soon taking affect, they'll be under the microscope even more.
Ann Webb's 83 year old mother passed away this past April after something went terribly wrong, in the ER.
"In the process of being there, unfortunantley, she contracted what we were told was called C Diff," said Webb.
That is a bacteria often contracted in hospitals that is like a severe stomach bug.
It's just one healthcare associated infection that is costing americans $9.8 billion a year, according to a new report from JAMA Internal Medicine.
"It is very, very important that we recognize that we have to keep it under control," said Sandra Simmons, Nursing Director for the ICU and Health Park Medical Center.
It's important because now with the Affordable Care Act about to really kick in, hospitals with high infection rates are penalized and have to pay up.
Those with low infections are reimbursed more money from the government.
"If you compare where we are today to where we were 4, 5, 6 years ago, the change is dramatic," said Simmons.
Simmons also says at health park medical center, their ICU's have gone nearly four years without any patients contracting the most common types of healthcare associated infections...
But even with their low numbers, Lee Memorial will have to pay a little more than $230 thousand in 2014.
"Hospitals who are even doing great with their infection rates like we are, are still seeing some penalty because of it," said Lee Memorial Health System's Mary Briggs.
Ann hopes this incentive will force all hospitals to prepare even more, so what happened to her mother won't happen to anyone else.
"We were there to get her better, she got worse," said Webb.
We also checked in with Lehigh Regional Medical Center and they tell us they always practice infection control measures so they can deliver the best care possible.
We didn't get a response back from Naples Community Hospital.
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