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Each year, more than 1.6 million Americans contract sepsis, a dangerous disease process that kills 258,000 people and leaves thousands of survivors with lifelong aftereffects. Difficult to diagnose and treat, sepsis accounts for more than $20 billion in annual costs to the U.S. health care system, making it the most expensive condition treated in hospitals. It results in significant costs related to intensive therapies and is also a frequent cause of readmissions to acute care.

Early detection and treatment are key to improving sepsis survival rates and reducing the high cost of care. With these goals in mind, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services awarded TMF Health Quality Institute a two-year contract that focuses on two important aims:

  • Increasing awareness of potential sepsis patients, and averting sepsis with early detection and intervention in inpatient and outpatient acute-care settings.
  • When sepsis is identified, increasing the use of evidence-based interventions to improve outcomes, decrease morbidity and mortality and reduce the overall cost of care.

A Collaborative Approach

During this project, TMF will focus on two geographic areas in Texas where sepsis/septic shock are particular concerns: the Upper Rio Grande Valley and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Building on well-established health care coalitions in these communities, TMF will recruit and work with inpatient and outpatient acute-care providers to implement and improve use of evidence-based interventions for early identification of potential sepsis. TMF also will assist these providers in implementing the evidence-based bundles for treatment of severe sepsis or septic shock.

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