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Medicare Penalizes 758 Hospitals For Patient Safety Incidents

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Kaiser Health News reports Medicare is lowering its 2016 payments by 1 percent for 758 hospitals with high rates of potentially avoidable infections and complications such as blood clots, bed sores and falls. According to Medicare records, more than half of those places had also been fined last year.  This is the second year of the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program, which was mandated by the federal health law to reduce patient injuries.  The fines are based on the government’s assessment of the frequency of several kinds of infections, sepsis, hip fractures and other complications. Medicare will lower all its payments to the penalized hospitals by 1 percent over the course of the federal fiscal year, which runs through September 2016. In total, Medicare estimates the penalties will cost hospitals $364 million.

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