Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hospitals May Get Funds Cut for High Readmission Rates

Hospitals could see their Medicare payments docked as a result of Affordable Care Act (ACA) reforms that aim to reduce patient readmissions. As a result, more hospitals are focusing on patient and caregiver education to reduce re-hospitalizations.

Under ACA, reductions in Medicare payments for inpatient care will be imposed on hospitals that readmit too many patients within a month of discharge. Cuts could range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the circumstances, the article states.

A Medicare Payment Advisory Commission study estimates that approximately 12 percent of Medicare patients readmitted to the hospital may not need to be. The Commission also found that reducing preventable readmissions by 10 percent could save Medicare $1 billion annually.

For 2014 only three types of readmissions will be penalized under ACA: pneumonia; heart attack; and heart failure. Two more types, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and hip and joint replacements, will be factored in next year.

INQRI grantees Dr. Marianne Weiss and Dr. Olga Yakusheva have conducted research examining how the hospital discharge process affects readmission rates. Learn more about their work:

Read "Nurse and patient perceptions of discharge readiness in relation to postdischarge utilization."
Read "Age-related differences in perception of quality of discharge teaching and readiness for hospital discharge."
Read "Quality and cost analysis of nurse staffing, discharge preparation, and postdischarge utilization."

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