In 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it would begin levying penalties against hospitals with the highest rates of hospital-acquired conditions through the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program. Whether the programme has been successful in improving patient safety has not been independently evaluated.
Sheetz et al. used clinical registry data on rates of hospital-acquired conditions in 2010–18 from a large surgical collaborative in Michigan to estimate the impact of the policy. They concluded that the programme did not improve patient safety in Michigan beyond existing trends. These findings, published in Health Affairs, raise questions about whether the program will lead to improvements in patient safety as intended.