The difference in infection rates between hospitals and ASCs — 5 takeaways

The difference in the infection rates between surgery centers and hospitals is significant, according to Health Talks podcast host Tom Farmer. Mr. Farmer is also the CEO and founder of Healora, a healthcare pricing transparency solution.

On Health Talks Episode No. 15, Mr. Farmer discussed why the difference is important.

Here are five takeaways:

1. Although patients pay a lot more for hospital facilities, they "also shockingly have a much higher rate of picking up an infection in a hospital," Mr. Farmer said.

2. Hospital infection rates in the U.S. hover just under 1 percent, he said, but that's an unnecessary risk to take for simple procedures such as knee surgeries, shoulder surgeries or colonoscopies.

3. In comparison, infection rates at surgery centers are very low — around one-tenth of hospital rates, according to Mr. Farmer.

4. Mr. Farmer speculated ASCs might have lower infection rates because they heavily rely on their brand and quality to drive traffic.

"They seem to be very much more careful about what they're doing with sterilizations, with cleanliness," he said.

5. Mr. Farmer's goal is to increase awareness and transparency regarding healthcare procedures on the market.

"We want people to understand just like you're shopping for tires," he said. "You want to know, what's the price of the tire? What are my choices of the tires? What is my choice for the people who are installing the tires? Do they have a good reputation for doing a good job? … This is the kind of stuff that we want to bring to [patients'] attention."

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