What does that mean? If a pneumothorax results from that central line attempt or that thoracentesis and any other procedures with this complication, Medicare will not reimburse for it. In the new issue of SonoSite news, it discusses this and how the tool that could prevent pneumothorax from occurring, if used during your procedures, is the exact tool that is best to diagnose at bedside. How ironic is that?!
“Effective October 1, 2012: If, during the performance of a venous catheterization procedure, the clinician accidentally causes a pneumothorax, Medicare will no longer reimburse the hospital for the extra costs of a resulting pneumothorax (collapsed lung) complication.
Medicare’s inclusion of iatrogenic pneumothorax as a preventable complication and decision to no longer reimburse additional costs associated with treatment will have even further financial implications for hospitals since, in the coming years, they will be at risk of losing substantial additional funding if their hospital-acquired condition rates are high.
U.S. medical centers that are highly motivated to reduce and eliminate iatrogenic pneumothoraces will likely turn to point-of-care ultrasound as, in multiple studies, ultrasound has been proven to do just that: ultrasound guidance during line placement prevents mechanical complications such as pneumothorax.
“Now, for the first time ever, we have a hospital measure that can be directly impacted by point-of-care ultrasound,” says SonoSite’s Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Diku Mandavia, MD. “We think this will now be the tipping point for the many hospitals that have not adopted or fully embraced ultrasound guidance of central venous catheters.”