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Healthcare-Associated Infections

Laws encouraging the prevention and reduction of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), infections acquired during the course of receiving treatment for other health conditions, have emerged and expanded in states since 2004. These laws address requirements for state health departments, healthcare facilities, and healthcare providers to promote best practices in HAI prevention. In particular, they address

  • Authorities granted to state health agencies
  • Definitions for the infections and facilities covered under state laws
  • HAI advisory councils
  • Pilot phases for state programs
  • Reporting requirements for facilities
  • Licensure and training requirements for facilities and providers
  • Financial incentives and disincentives
  • Protection of HAI data

The coordination of state statutory requirements and federal incentives has created an environment where facilities, providers, and health departments can work together to reduce the burden of HAIs in states.


  • Menu of Selected Provisions in Healthcare-Associated Infection Laws [PDF - 2.33MB]
    A resource that helps attorneys and public health practitioners understand the variety of provisions in state HAI laws. The Menu provides examples from state statutes related to the range of policy topics found in HAI laws. The Menu is a companion to the CDC-ASTHO Policy Toolkit, Eliminating HAI—State Policy Options, published by CDC and the Association for State and Territorial Health Officials in April 2011.


  • Law as a Tool to Promote Healthcare Safety [PDF - 106KB]
    Describes legal sources and principles that impact responses to unsafe injection practices that result in infection and injury. In particular, this article aims to inform healthcare providers and healthcare facility leaders about the statutory, administrative, criminal, and tort law implications related to preventable harms from unsafe injection practices. Published in Clinical Governance: An International Journal 2014;19(2): 172–80. This copy was formatted to include full legal citations in the footnotes.

  • The Emergence of Law to Address Healthcare-Associated Infections [PDF - 243KB]
    An overview for health lawyers who seek to understand the landscape of healthcare-associated infection (HAI) laws and policies in order to advise healthcare clients, public health departments, and consumers regarding their responsibilities for HAI prevention. The article references tools and resources published in 2011 and 2012 by the Public Health Law Program in partnership with the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases and the Association for State and Territorial Health Officials and its partners. A sample of these resources is also available on the DHQP Policy Page. Published in AHLA Connections, v. 16, n.8 (Aug. 2012). © 2012 American Health Lawyers Association

Disclaimer: Information available on this website that was not developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not necessarily represent any CDC policy, position, or endorsement of that information or of its sources. The information contained on this website is not legal advice; if you have questions about a specific law or its application you should consult your legal counsel.