A Matter of Agency
Recovery act funding helps states fight health care–associated infections. In an attempt to prevent the approximately 1.7 million hospital-acquired infections Americans contract each year, Congress has appropriated money for the first time specifically to the states. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the $40 million will be distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to maximize prevention efforts, which will focus on eliminating bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and address pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile. Hospital-acquired infections are associated with approximately 99,000 deaths and represent an estimated $30 billion in added health care costs annually. See www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2009/r090901.htm for more information.