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The Boston Globe

Business

White Coat Notes

Penalty, infection link hard to gauge

Since 2006, hospitals across the country have become safer on at least one count: The rate at which patients acquire infections from catheters to their heart or bladder has declined considerably.

But the improvement has little to do with a federal penalty program launched in 2008 to target the problem, according to a study by Harvard researchers published last week by the New England Journal of Medicine.

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