How’s that readmission penalty thing working out for Medicare?

I think I may just have to quit today…

How’s that Medicare readmission-penalty pay-for-performance thing working out?

In the fourth year of federal readmission penalties, 2,592 hospitals will receive lower payments for every Medicare patient that stays in the hospital — readmitted or not — starting in October. The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, created by the Affordable Care Act, was designed to make hospitals pay closer attention to what happens to their patients after they get discharged.

How many didn’t get a penalty?

Only 799 out of more than 3,400 hospitals subject to the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program performed well enough on the CMS’ 30-day readmission program to face no penalty.

So everyone sucks. This will really hurt, right? How much of the $2.7 trillion or so dollars spent on health care is involved (emphasis mine)?

this time losing a combined $420 million, government records show

So I’m sure they’ll really feel it. Of course, I’m not sure how much we want them to feel it, since I (and the National Quality Forum) am not sure this metric is fair. But let’s keep on going, right?


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