The federal government’s penalties on hospitals will reach a new high as Medicare withholds more than half a billion dollars in payments over the next year, records released Tuesday show, writes Kaiser Health News. The government will punish more than half of the nation’s hospitals — a total of 2,597 — having more patients than expected return within a month. While that is about the same number penalized last year, the average penalty will increase by a fifth, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis. The new penalties, which take effect in October, are based on the rehospitalization rate for patients with six common conditions. Since the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program began in October 2012, national readmission rates have dropped as many hospitals pay more attention to how patients fare after their release.
Read more: http://khn.org/news/more-than-half-of-hospitals-to-be-penalized-for-excess-readmissions/