Medicare is fed up with hospitals who have large numbers of readmissions within 30 days of discharge.
According to MSN, Medicare will start fining hospitals that have too many patients readmitted within 30 days of discharge due to complications. The penalties are part of a broader push under President Barack Obama’s health care law to improve quality while also trying to save taxpayers money.
According to Medicare estimates this coming year, approximately 2,200 facilities, will be forced to pay penalties averaging $125,000 per facility.
“There is a lot of activity at the hospital level to straighten out our internal processes,” said Nancy Foster, vice president for quality and safety at the American Hospital Association. “We are also spreading our wings a little and reaching outside the hospital, to the extent that we can, to make sure patients are getting the ongoing treatment they need.”
“Readmissions are partially within the control of the hospital, and partially within the control of others,” Foster added about the Medicare measure.
According to consumer advocates, Medicare’s attempt to correct the hospitals is not stiff enough and way overdue.
“It’s modest, but it’s a start,” said Dr. John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. “Should we be surprised that industry is objecting? You would expect them to object to anything that changes the status quo.”