Effort To Curb Medicare Spending Begins With Crackdown On Hospital Readmissions

Published Online: November 27, 2012
After years of gently prodding hospitals to make sure discharged patients do not need to return, the federal government is now using its financial muscle to discourage readmissions.

Medicare last month began levying financial penalties against 2,217 hospitals it says have had too many readmissions. Of those hospitals, 307 will receive the maximum punishment, a 1 percent reduction in Medicare’s regular payments for every patient over the next year, federal records show.

Read the full story: http://bit.ly/WVkXwc

Source: Kaiser Health News (in collaboration with The New York Times)

Feature
Recommended Articles
Increasing health insurance enrollment is only one part of the goal of the Affordable Care Act—the law also aims to improve population health and lower healthcare costs, but less attention has been paid to these critical steps.
All-cause mortality and hospitalization rates and inpatient expenditures among Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries decreased from 1999 to 2013.
Legislative action on Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) could have important implications for physicians, especially in terms of financial risk. In the 13th part of the Healthcare Reform Stakeholder Summit, panelists Francois de Brantes, MS, MBA, Ateev Mehrotra, MD, MPH, and Arthur Vercillo, MD, FACS, delved into the topic of SGR reform.
Officials say the number of enrollees and their relative good health made it possible to negotiate lower rate increases. However, premium increases are higher in Northern California, where there is less competition.
Commercial health plans will soon face a new Federal rule that will require them to provide counseling to obese and some overweight beneficiaries—and most will need help complying. Omada Health co-founder and CEO Sean Duffy, writing this month in Evidence-Based Diabetes Management, tells how the CDC has opened the door for digital health programs to offer a scalable, effective solution.