Some Calif. Hospitals Are Adjusting Policies Based on Projected Medicare Reimbursement Cuts
Some California hospitals -- pressured by federal penalties for high readmissions -- are revamping discharge procedures and assigning health coaches to monitor patients for up to a month after they have been discharged. Hospitals that exceed their expected readmission rate -- based on the facility's mix of patients -- can lose up to 1% of their Medicare payments, a punishment which will rise to 2% in October and to 3% in 2014. Robert Wachter -- a professor at the UC-San Francisco Department of Medicine -- said that some facilities serving low-income communities or a high population of elderly patients may be hit harder by the reimbursement changes.
- "Readmission Penalties Prompt Hospitals To Improve Follow-Up Care" (Richard, HealthyCal, 8/23).