Medicare And Pressure Ulcer

Medicare And Pressure Ulcer

A pressure ulcer is a medical condition in which an area of skin breaks downs when you stay in one position for too long without shifting your weight. This often happens if you use a wheelchair or you are bedridden, even for a short period of time. For example, it can develop after surgery or injury when the person is chained to a bed. The constant pressure against the skin reduces the blood supply and oxygen to that area and the affected tissues dies.

The centers for Medicare and Medicaid services recently announced that it will stop reimbursing hospitals for certain hospital acquired conditions considered preventable in the hospital setting. This announcement was made in October 2008. Pressure ulcer is also included in the category of hospital acquired condition.

Medicare states that the new policy will give hospitals a strong incentive to screen patients who may be at risk of developing pressure ulcer. If the hospital can document that the skin ulcer was present at the time of admission, it will pay for treatment. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the average stay for patient admitted to the hospital for treatment of hospital acquired pressure sores is 13 days. And the estimated cost of managing a single full thickness pressure ulcer is as high as $70,000, and the total cost for treatment of pressure ulcers in the U.S. is estimated at $11 billion per year. Up until now, the majority of hospitals have been focusing on pressure ulcer treatment, rather than its prevention. Although pressure ulcers are preventable in most cases, the prevalence of pressure ulcer in health care facilities is increasing. Treating pressure ulcers often costs more financially and in personnel hours than the measures that could have prevented them.

Pressure ulcer or bed sore in hospitals can be prevented by adding key supplements to a standard hospital diet; because good nutrient is essential for maintaining skin integrity. Some preventive measures they can rely upon are like using a specific type of patient bed, reporting on patient skin issues during shift changes, repositioning of bed-bound or chair-bound patients.

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Medicare And Pressure Ulcer