Medicare Officials Accepting Input on Reimbursements
CMS has proposed a rule to stop reimbursing hospitals for care related to 13 preventable complications if those conditions developed during inpatient treatment, the Indianapolis Star reports. The conditions include bloodstream infections, skin ulcers and urinary tract infections caused by the insertion of catheters.
CMS is accepting public comments on the proposed rule change until June.
The proposed rule, scheduled to take effect in October 2008, "could have a far-reaching impact because Medicare is the largest single payer of medical bills," and private health insurers "often follow Medicare's lead when determining their own reimbursement policies," the Star reports.
Eric Schmitz, director of provider contracting at health insurer Anthem, said, "It is something we will want to look at and try to follow."
The American Hospital Association said it supports efforts by Medicare and others to reduce medical errors.
AHA Senior Vice President of Policy Carmela Coyle said, "There's not a doctor or nurse who comes to work in the morning and wants to make a mistake." Coyle added, "I don't see nonpayment as an incentive to try to do better" (Lee, Indianapolis Star, 5/22).