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MRSA Screenings of ICU Patients Can Reduce Hospital Costs

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 31, 2011

The cost of taking care of a MRSA-infected patient "averaged $1,620.69 per diem during the period 2004-2006," with an average 39-day length of stay. That compares with the average per diem cost of a patient with colonized MRSA who is not infected, of $2,553, but whose average length of stay was 33 days less, only 5.9 days, the researchers wrote, based on data from 2005. 

"For every admission, about .0321 MRSA infections were avoided with the intervention, resulting in a net savings of $484 per admission," the researchers wrote. For more expensive screening tests, the savings were similar but slightly less, $483 and $476, per admission.

"The results suggest that each patient admitted is expected to cost $18,051 without the intervention, but $17,567 with the intervention," they wrote.

In an interview, Filice says that some hospitals might balk at the suggestion they should expend this amount in resources for universal ICU screening because they don't perceive they have that much of a MRSA problem in their community.

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