Practitioners 2017-06-10T05:00:19+00:00

Why Sepsis?

In the United States alone, sepsis results in 570,000 emergency department visits and affects over 1,000,000 hospitalized patients each year, making it one of the most common causes for hospitalization and the third leading cause for hospital readmission. Between 25 and 50% of people who acquire sepsis will die, the highest mortality rate of any major medical condition. At a minimum, this equates to approximately 250,000 sepsis deaths in the US each year.1 In Colorado, more people die annually from sepsis than breast cancer, stroke and auto accidents combined.2


1. Sepsis Data Report (2016). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. US Department of Human Services, Colorado Department of Transportation, International Journal of Health Graphics, Sepsis Alliance

The financial burden to the health care system is extremely high as well. Hospital costs incurred due to sepsis in 2011 exceeded $20 billion.1 The average cost per hospital stay for a sepsis patient is over $18,000, almost double the average cost per stay across all other conditions.1 Severe sepsis could result in a longer length of stay from 6 days to 17 days, exceeding $53,000 per episode.



1. Pfuntner et al, Costs for Hospital Stays in the United States, 2013 HCUP Statistical Brief #168

Furthermore, sepsis is a key quality measure that impacts healthcare reimbursement. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) includes Post-Operative Sepsis as one of the eight components in the methodology to calculate a Total Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) score for each hospital. Hospitals with a Total HAC Score in the lowest performing quartile are subject to a one percent payment penalty. In addition, the CMS Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) program includes Sepsis and Septic Shock Management Bundles (NQF #0500) as one of the core measures upon which the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) is based.



1. CMS to Improve Quality of Care during Hospital Inpatient Stays (2014).

The Mission of the Coalition for Sepsis Survival (C4SS) is to significantly impact sepsis mortality and morbidity by leading state initiatives to build sepsis awareness and best practice treatment. Our initiatives will bring together in partnership, local communities, health care providers, hospital and medical associations, leading businesses, and insurance companies to decrease sepsis mortality to best practice rates or below.

C4SS will accomplish its mission through:

Research and Publishing Recommended Sepsis Standards of Care

Several reports suggest that implementation of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) International Guidelines for Management of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock (2016) guidelines is associated with a reduction in sepsis mortality. However, compliance with the guidelines and sepsis bundles remains low resulting in a wide variance in sepsis mortality rates within hospitals across the country. In Colorado, the mortality rate associated with sepsis may vary from as low as 7.3% to as high as 35.6%.

C4SS is partnering with local medical authorities and hospitals in the state of Colorado to study the factors impacting the quality of sepsis care with the primary goal of establishing best demonstrated practices. C4SS will conduct a facility-specific data analysis to systematically evaluate the sepsis mortality reduction progress in your institution. Your organization is invited to participate in this Sepsis Survival Study.


Wang HE, Devereaux RS, Yealy DM, Safford MM & Howard, G. National variation in United States sepsis mortality: a descriptive study. (2010). International Journal of Health Geographics

Public Awareness

Approximately 80% of patients develop sepsis before presenting to their personal physician or local hospital emergency room. Surveys have shown that less than 50% of the general public has ever heard of the word Sepsis. If not treated immediately, a patient with sepsis can rapidly progress into septic shock where the probability of death increases 8 – 10% per hour. C4SS, in partnership with the Colorado Broadcast Association and KUSA Channel 9 News, is implementing a statewide sepsis public service announcement (PSA) program through radio, television, and print media. Our goal is to reach patients in local communities. Your organization is invited to co-sponsor the television and radio PSAs to highlight your commitment to sepsis reduction and your leadership role in this groundbreaking initiative. C4SS will also work with your marketing team to develop a custom service awareness strategy and multi-media program. View our current Public Service Announcements here

Certified Performance Improvement Provider Program

C4SS will identify and certify performance improvement service providers that offer the highest quality at an effective value that enables hospitals to achieve their sepsis quality and cost objectives. Effective sepsis management not only reduces patient morbidity and mortality, but it can substantially impact the financial status of the hospital by reducing the cost of care, length of stay, readmissions and ultimately increase reimbursement. For example, by lowering their current sepsis rate from 25% to 10%, a 300 bed hospital can achieve a profit contribution improvement as great as $3.2 million annually.

Performance Grants and Financing

C4SS will provide education performance grants and financing programs to hospitals that do not have the current operating budget for implementing sepsis performance improvement initiatives. C4SS recognizes that some hospitals have limited operating cash flow, or are engaged in other clinical initiatives and are therefore unable to make the initial investment to start a sepsis improvement program. Based on hospital need and qualifications, C4SS can provide performance grants to allow the facility to be able to take the first step in making the commitment to reduce sepsis mortality. We can also link hospitals to business partners that can assist in program financing.

Sepsis Partner Award Program

C4SS will financially reward hospitals that significantly reduce sepsis mortality and improve their sepsis clinical performance in order to meet healthcare industry best demonstrated practices.

Join the Coalition

We invite you to partner with C4SS in our efforts to decrease sepsis mortality and to save lives. If you share a passion for our mission, you can join our efforts by:

  • Sharing your sepsis mortality reduction program successes, so that we may include your facility’s efforts in our studies
  • Participating in the Colorado Sepsis Survival Study
  • Donating to the public service announcement efforts to educate your community on sepsis symptoms and the need for immediate response
  • Donating to support our grants to facilities which might otherwise be unable to focus on this important initiative