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Substantial Costs Attributable to Hospital-Acquired C. Difficile

MONDAY, July 29, 2019 -- Hospital-acquired Clostridioides difficile infection (HA-CDI) is associated with substantial attributable costs, according to a study published online July 25 in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Jenine R. Leal, from the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and colleagues examined linked clinical, administrative, and micro-costing data to determine the attributable cost and length of stay of HA-CDI among all adult patients in acute-care facilities in Alberta between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2016. For comparison, cases were matched to patients without a positive C. difficile test or without clinical CDI using propensity score and exposure time.

The researchers identified 2,916 HA-CDI cases at facilities with micro-costing data available; 98.4 percent of these cases were matched to 13,024 noncases of CDI. Among HA-CDI cases, the total adjusted cost was 27 percent greater than that seen in noncases of CDI. The mean attributable cost was $14,190. The adjusted length of stay among HA-CDI cases was 13 percent greater than for noncases of CDI, translating to an extra 5.6 days in length of hospital stay per HA-CDI case.

"Our estimates will assist decision makers, health care providers, and patients in understanding the health care system burden of disease, justifying expenditures on intervention efforts and policies related to infection prevention and control, evaluating program effectiveness, determining allocation of research funding, and assessing the potential cost savings or bed days saved due to prevented infections," the authors write.

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Posted: July 2019

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