Latest California Healthline Stories
More than 9 in 10 general acute-care hospitals have been penalized at least once in the past decade.
The federal government’s hospital penalty program finishes its first decade by lowering payments to nearly half the nation’s hospitals for readmitting too many Medicare patients within a month. Penalties, though often small, are credited with helping reduce the number of patients returning for another Medicare stay within 30 days.
The penalties are the ninth round of a program created as part of the Affordable Care Act’s broader effort to improve quality and lower costs. The average reduction in federal payments is 0.69%, with 613 hospitals receiving a penalty of 1% or more.
Starting today, Medicare is keeping half a billion dollars in payments from 83% of general hospitals for having too many patients come back. As in the past, California hospitals were penalized less frequently and less severely than the national average.
Hospitals are now financially rewarded by insurers for safety and efficacy — which often results in patients spending less time as inpatients.
The incentive program to discourage nursing homes from discharging patients too quickly will also give bonuses to facilities with fewer rehospitalizations.
The federal government is issuing bonuses and penalties to skilled nursing facilities based on how often their patients are readmitted to hospitals within a month of being discharged.
Siguiendo órdenes del Congreso, Medicare está aliviando sus multas anuales por readmisión en cientos de hospitales que brindan servicios a residentes de bajos ingresos.
In California, Medicare penalized about three-quarters of the 292 hospitals it evaluated. But many that serve a large share of low-income patients will lose less money than they did in previous years.
Even though consumers don’t expect to pay for faulty service or goods, they are often forced to pay for bad health care. But a small number of hospitals and doctors are seeking to change that practice.