Kaiser Health News writes: Medicare penalizes hospitals that readmit too many patients within 30 days of discharge, and one hospital in Missouri – Christian hospital – expects to lose almost $600,000 in reimbursements this year. Medicare’s formula for setting penalties does not factor in patients with socioeconomic disadvantages — low-income, poor health habits and chronic illnesses for instance — that contribute to repeated hospitalizations. If Medicare did that, Christian’s penalty would have been $140,000. Hospitals have lobbied Congress and Medicare to change the rules and gained some ground through the introduction of a bill in the House to adjust Medicare’s program to account for socioeconomic status. Meanwhile, the Missouri Hospital Association is taking initiative and offering adjusted data on its consumer website, Focus On Hospitals, to include not only the federal readmissions data, but also each member’s readmissions statistics, adjusted for patients’ Medicaid status and neighborhood poverty rates.
- Kaiser Health News: http://khn.org/news/missouri-hospitals-seek-to-focus-readmission-penalties-on-patient-poverty/
- Focus on Hospitals: http://focusonhospitals.com/