More than 2,000 hospitals — including some nationally recognized ones — will be penalized by the government starting in October because many of their patients are readmitted soon after discharge, new records show.
With nearly one in five Medicare patients returning to the hospital within a month of discharge, the government considers readmissions a prime symptom of an overly expensive and uncoordinated health system.
~ They will do this under the guise that hospitals have had little financial incentive to ensure patients get the care they need once they leave.
Together, these hospitals will forfeit about $280 million in Medicare funds over the next year as the government begins a wide-ranging push to start paying health care providers based on the quality of care they provide.
~ See, their premise IS that seniors are readmitted too often. Which with this new penalty would discourage readmissions within 30 days. In other words, let them die as opposed to them being admitted too often:
Nearly 2 million Medicare beneficiaries are readmitted within 30 days of release each year, costing Medicare $17.5 billion in additional hospital bills. The national average readmission rate has remained steady at slightly above 19 percent for several years, even as many hospitals have worked harder to lower theirs.
The penalties, authorized by the 2010 health care law, are part of a multipronged effort by Medicare to use its financial muscle to force improvements in hospital quality. In a few months, hospitals also will be penalized or rewarded based on how well they adhere to basic standards of care and how patients rated their experiences. Overall, Medicare has decided to penalize around two-thirds of the hospitals whose readmission rates it evaluated, the records show.
~ I understand that for years they release patients too soon after surgeries/illness etc. But the elderly cannot help if their health is failing and are hospitalized often. Leaving hospitals looking at their last admission date and risking sending them home and they WILL DIE!
According to Kaiser Health News:
The penalties will fall heaviest on hospitals in New Jersey, New York, the District of Columbia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Illinois and Massachusetts, a Kaiser Health News analysis of the records shows. Hospitals that treat the most low-income patients will be hit particularly hard.
A total of 278 hospitals nationally will lose the maximum amount allowed under the health care law: 1 percent of their base Medicare reimbursements. Several of those are top-ranked institutions, including Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.
“A lot of places have put in a lot of work and not seen improvement,” said Dr. Kenneth Sands, senior vice president for quality at Beth Israel. “It is not completely understood what goes into an institution having a high readmission rate and what goes into improving” it.
Sands noted that Beth Israel, like several other hospitals with high readmission rates, also has unusually low mortality rates for its patients, which he says may reflect that the hospital does a good job at swiftly getting ailing patients back and preventing deaths.
~ So Here LIES the PROOF Medicare patients would DIE under this provision!!!
* Penalties Will Increase Next Year
The maximum penalty will increase after this year, to 2 percent of regular payments starting in October 2013 and then to 3 percent the following year. This year, the $280 million in penalties comprise about 0.3 percent of the total amount hospitals are paid by Medicare.
According to Medicare records, 1,933 hospitals will receive penalties less than 1 percent; the total number of hospitals receiving penalties is 2,211. Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, which U.S. News last month ranked as the best hospital in the country, will lose 0.5 percent of its Medicare payments because of its readmission rates, the records show. The smallest penalties are one hundredth of a percent, which 50 hospitals will receive.
* Hospitals That Serve Poor Are Hit Harder Than Others
Some safety-net hospitals that treat large numbers of low-income patients tend to have higher readmission rates, which the hospitals attribute to the lack of access to doctors and medication these patients often experience after discharge. The analysis of the penalties shows that 76 percent of the hospitals that have a lot of low-income patients will lose Medicare funds in the fiscal year starting in October. Only 55 percent of the hospitals treating few poor patients are going to be penalized, the analysis shows.
“It’s our mission, it’s good, it’s what we want to do, but to be penalized because we care for those folks doesn’t seem right,” said Dr. John Lynch, chief medical officer at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, which is receiving the maximum penalty.
* The government’s penalties are based on the frequency that (((Medicare heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia patients))) were readmitted within 30 days between July 2008 and June 2011. Medicare took into account the sickness of the patients when calculating whether the rates were higher than those of the average hospital, but not their racial or socio-economic background.
~ AGAIN, the proof a senior cannot prevent Heart Failure, so capitalize on a hospital needing to readmit these patients or send them home to die?! And pneumonia? As many of you know my daughter was recently hospitalized with a severe case of pneumonia. She was hospitalized for TWO months. If she had been a senior and sent home as opposed to the cost of that stay, she surely would have DIED!
The penalty will be deducted from reimbursements each time a hospital submits a claim starting Oct. 1. As an example, if a hospital received the maximum penalty of 1 percent and it submitted a claim for $20,000 for a stay, Medicare would reimburse it $19,800.
Read the FULL Kaiser Report
* Download the CSV spreadsheet
~ In closing friends, many of you are on Medicare. They try to disingenuously portray Romney as a ‘killer’, when in actuality the AFFORDABLE Care Act AKA ObamaCare AKA ObamaTax, have the philosophy Granny/Grandpa are EXPENDABLE! They in Truth are the ones pushing Granny etal OVER the Cliff! Not only that THEY are the ones singling out the POOR! The proof we fought all along that Universal Healthcare is the Killer NOT the GOP!!! Make this post and knowledge VIRAL. We cannot ‘afford’ to sit on it so close to election. Get this to the Romney camp and all your critters. Share with senior groups. They think Romney/Ryan are the enemy on Medicare. THIS is proof the Enemy Lies Within! ~ JP