50% of Hospital Patients Prone to Pressure Sores

A new study by Hill-Rom Company estimates that half of all acute-care hospital patients are at risk of developing pressure ulcers. The study finds fault with hospitals in that they are not doing enough to prevent the sores in the first place. The survey comes in the wake of U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) announcement that as of October 2008 it will no longer reimburse hospitals for such care. CMS stated that pressure ulcers were preventable if hospitals followed a consistent prevention program as part of their standard of care. According to CMS, pressure ulcers were a “secondary diagnosis” in 323,000 Medicare patients last year.