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Health Services Research & Development

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HERC Health Economics Seminar

Estimating the cost of healthcare-associated MRSA infections in the VA


by Richard Nelson, Ph.D.
Seminar date: 7/16/2014

Description: More than 440,000 adults develop a healthcare-asociated infection (HAI) in the US each year with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) being one of the most common sources of these infections. Since the nationwide implementation of the VA MRSA Prevention Initiative in October 2007, the rate of MRSA HAIs has decreased substantially in the VA. In order to evaluate the economic impact of this initiative, it is important to estimate the cost of MRSA HAIs in the VA. However, several challenges exist in this estimation. First of all, treating HAI as a time-fixed event can result in overestimates of pre-discharge costs of HAIs. And second, it is often impossible to estimate post-discharge effects of HAIs due to the inability to follow patients longitudinally. This presentation will describe preliminary analyses to estimate costs of HAIs in the VA that overcome both of these challenges using data from the VA’s Decision Support System. Target audience: Health services researchers

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