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Congress Approves Sepsis Funding and Issues Sepsis Directives in the FY23 Budget in Historic First

The funding, research and mandates are designed to address the 350,000 deaths each year from sepsis and $62 billion in healthcare spending associated with the condition.

NEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Sepsis funding and directives have been included in the $1.7 trillion Omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Biden earlier this month. This marks the first time that sepsis has been included in a federal budget. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that stems from infection; it kills 350,000 Americans annually and causes hundreds of thousands of life-changing disabilities. Sepsis is the number one cause of hospitalization in the U.S. and is estimated to be responsible for $62 billion in healthcare costs each year.

The development follows many years of intense advocacy by leading sepsis organization, END SEPSIS, the Legacy of Rory Staunton, and its allies. The bipartisan spending bill includes two major provisions relating to sepsis:

  1. The allocation of significant funding to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), to "conduct a comprehensive set of studies that calculate the morbidity, readmission, and mortality related to sepsis with respect to pediatrics, maternal sepsis, nursing home care, and rehabilitation, and the association of pandemic-related changes in the healthcare system on the burden of sepsis. The study should also examine the annual financial cost of sepsis in the United States." The studies are designed to address gaps in our understanding of the overall burden of sepsis to the nation and enable the successful allocation of resources and development of effective strategies to combat the sepsis crisis.

  2. The requirement that CMS, in collaboration with CDC, develop or identify, "existing quality measures for adult and pediatric sepsis that could be implemented through notice and comment rulemaking." Additionally, it explicitly directs CMS and CDC to examine New York's own sepsis hospital measures, citing their success. The New York regulations–mandatory hospital protocols providing for the rapid identification and treatment of sepsis–are known as Rory's Regulations for 12 year-old Rory Staunton who died from undiagnosed, untreated sepsis in 2012. Staunton's parents founded END SEPSIS following his death.

Despite its human and financial costs, the spending bill marks the first time that the government agencies charged with the nation's health policies, CMS and the CDC, have been required by Congress to develop policies to effectively address the sepsis crisis at the hospital level.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), who is responsible for the inclusion of sepsis in the national budget, gave the following statement: "I am proud to support the Staunton family, the advocates working with END SEPSIS, and the millions of families forever changed by preventable, treatable sepsis infections by passing meaningful policy changes on how we confront sepsis in this year's Omnibus bill. Far too many have died from sepsis, which can be overcome if detected and treated early enough. The funding, research and mandates I fought for and won in this bill will push the federal government to start expanding, on the national level, New York's successful 'Rory's Regulations' model to better treat and prevent potentially deadly sepsis infections. Now, we must move forward on that mission with urgency and purpose."

END SEPSIS Founder, Ciaran Staunton, said, "We would like to publicly thank those who were instrumental in bringing about this milestone: Senator Schumer and his committed staff who made this cause their own and Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health, for his pioneering approach to reducing sepsis deaths. Our heartfelt gratitude also goes to our own stellar expert committee on sepsis led by Dr. Nirav Shah, former NYS Health Commissioner and senior scholar at Stanford University, and Dr. Foster Gesten, former medical director for the Office of Quality & Patient Safety at the NYS Department of Health, which strategized, drafted policy proposals and persevered in the face of roadblocks and delays."

Continued Stuanton: "Three million Americans have lost their lives to sepsis in the 10 years since our son Rory's death. While we celebrate this milestone, we will continue our advocacy until the United States has an effective national approach to sepsis and every hospital in the country has a protocol in place to identify and treat it."


END SEPSIS, the Legacy of Rory Staunton, works to end the hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths and devastating disabilities that result from sepsis in the U.S. each year. Through public awareness and education, quality improvement, advocacy and family support, END SEPSIS has successfully spearheaded the most aggressive public battles and cutting-edge, action-based initiatives to keep families safe and end this public health emergency. END SEPSIS envisions a world where everyone understands sepsis as a medical emergency, recognizes its signs, and can confidently advocate for their own care and the care of others and where patients are met in healthcare settings by medical professionals trained to rapidly recognize and treat sepsis. Visit

Contact: Sabine Horner,

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SOURCE END SEPSIS, the Legacy of Rory Staunton

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