CDC invests $ 2.1 billion to improve the safety and quality of health care in the United States
Today, the Biden-Harris administration announced a $ 2.1 billion investment to improve infection prevention and control activities across the US health and healthcare system. The government of Biden-Harris, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is investing funds from the American Rescue Plan to empower state, local, and territorial health agencies and other partner organizations with the resources to better fight infection are required in U.S. healthcare facilities, including COVID-19 and other known and emerging infectious diseases.
The funding announced today is a commitment that will enable the United States to build public health and improve the quality of health care in our country, including addressing health inequalities. It will help health workers prevent infections in the healthcare sector more effectively, support rapid response to the detection and containment of infectious organisms, improve laboratory capacities and participate in innovations to combat infectious disease threats. Infection prevention improvements will span the health continuum, including 6,000 hospitals, 15,400 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, 7,900 dialysis clinics, and 4,700 outpatient surgery centers, and they will extend to other outpatient facilities.
This funding will dramatically improve the safety and quality of health care in the United States during the pandemic and in the future. The funding will provide our public health agencies and health systems with significant resources and opportunities to develop innovative strategies to protect all segments of the US population, especially those disproportionately affected by the pandemic at a time when they are hard hit. “
Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, CDC director
Additionally, these investments will help combat the surge in healthcare-related infections that spiked as US hospitals were inundated by COVID-19, reversing national advances prior to the pandemic.
Over the next 3 years, CDC will spend $ 1.25 billion to 64 state, local and territorial health agencies to support this work. Initial grants totaling $ 885 million will be made to these jurisdiction health departments in October 2021. CDC will use the majority of this initial funding in October, $ 500 million, to support a new force in the fight against COVID-19 to protect our hardest hit populations:
- Strike teams from government nursing homes and long-term care workers. This funding from CDC in partnership with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will enable state and other health agencies to recruit, train and deploy strike teams to qualified care facilities, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities with known or suspected COVID- 19 outbreaks. The strike teams will enable jurisdictions to provide clinical service facilities with capacity; Resolving staff shortages in institutions; and strengthening Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) activities to prevent, detect, and contain outbreaks, including supporting COVID-19 vaccine boosters.
The remaining $ 385 million, which will be awarded in October 2021, will go to state, local and territorial health authorities to strengthen five critical areas:
- Strengthen government capacities to prevent, detect, and contain infectious disease threats in all healthcare facilities: CDC will provide significant infection prevention and control support to public health authorities to work with health institutions to improve the quality of health care; Reinforce infectious disease prevention and control measures to minimize the spread of infections in a variety of healthcare settings; identify, address and monitor health-related disparities and health equity; and increase capacity to investigate outbreaks of healthcare-related infections.
- Laboratory capacity for healthcare: Funding will also increase the capacity of state and regional laboratories to monitor emerging pathogens to better identify patients infected with or in infectious disease threats such as antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as “nightmare bacteria” and carbapenem-resistant enterobacterales (CRE) carry oneself Candida auris. Outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant pathogens have occurred in COVID-19 units and other healthcare facilities throughout the pandemic.
- Firstline project: Funding will expand efforts to develop and implement effective infection prevention and control education and training for frontline health workers, leveraging a unique collaboration among healthcare, public health and academic partners. Project Firstline aims to meet the diverse educational needs of its diverse healthcare workforce; ensure they have the knowledge they need to protect themselves, their staff and their patients; and developing education and training that addresses the inequalities of the US health workforce. In its first year, CDC and its partners’ Firstline project developed more than 130 educational products and hosted more than 200 infection prevention and control educational events that were attended by approximately 16,300 healthcare workers from professions ranging from environmental services to nurses to doctors. His infection prevention and control messages reached millions of people through 1,700+ social media posts shared on CDC and partner channels.
- National Health Safety Network (NHSN): CDC will increase data and surveillance by NHSN to determine where and when healthcare infections occur and to target IPC interventions. The funds will support government efforts to improve NHSN data collection by health care facilities. This includes government coordination, expanding reporting, and providing greater technical support to facilities reporting health quality and preventive care data.
- Antibiotic responsibility: The funds will support government data analysis on antibiotic use and implement programs to improve antibiotic prescribing in all communities, including addressing health inequalities associated with antibiotic use. Although ineffective against COVID-19, antibiotics were often prescribed to patients during the pandemic, increasing the risk of antibiotic resistance.
In addition to funds made available to state, local, and territorial health authorities, $ 880 million will be used over several years to help healthcare partners, academic institutions, and other nonprofit partners develop new prevention efforts and infection prevention training capacity and control as well as data collection support and technical assistance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the importance of infection prevention and control in the healthcare sector to keep the US population – especially our most vulnerable people in nursing homes and hospitals – safe and healthy. 2020 marked an unprecedented time for healthcare facilities, many of whom faced exceptional circumstances of increased patient numbers, staffing challenges, and other operational changes that may have restricted the implementation of normal infection prevention practices. Recent studies have shown a significant increase in care-associated infections in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), ventilator-associated events (VAEs), and methicillin-resistant during the pandemic Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia. The data shows that there is an urgent need to strengthen infection prevention and control capacities and build health care resilience to withstand future pandemics and sustain national advances in prevention.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention