Latest California Healthline Stories
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.
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.
Federal records show that 2,573 hospitals around the country will have their Medicare payments reduced because they have too many patients readmitted.
This new column explains what older adults and their families can do to avoid hospital readmission.
Medicare will withhold an estimated $528 million in 2017 from more than 2,500 hospitals — including 225 in California — that have too many patients returning within 30 days.
Even when the state orders nursing homes to readmit residents who have been in the hospital, its orders have no teeth.